NEW YORK — A medical researcher accused of avenging his firing by stealing scientific material and switching laboratory mice’s name tags at a New York hospital ducked out on his criminal case Tuesday, and his lawyer said the scientist had gone back to his native Iran because he ran out of money.
Accused of messing with the mouse ID’s and taking stem cell cultures, antibodies and other “secret scientific material” and equipment from the Mount Sinai Medical Center lab where he’d had a fellowship, Dr. Mohsen Hosseinkhani was arrested in November on grand larceny and burglary charges. He was freed on $5,000 bond and due to return to court Tuesday, but he didn’t show up.
Hosseinkhani had been a cardiology fellow at the Manhattan hospital, but he lost his post in June, authorities said. He still had an ID card and used it to return to the lab in July and again in late November, police said.
He stole more than $3,000 worth of pipettes, plus more than $3,000 in antibodies and other materials in his two visits, according to a criminal complaint. Police said he also was accused of swapping the mouse name tags.
Mount Sinai declined to comment on whether any research was affected. The hospital would say only that Hosseinkhani didn’t have had any contact with patients in his role as a post-doctoral fellow and that Mount Sinai was aiding authorities with the investigation.
Prosecutors had taken Hosseinkhani’s passport, and Manha…