In the second motion to lift the immunity of Speaker of the Senate, Tomasz Grodzki, investigators accuse the “third person in the state” of much more serious crimes than those in the first case. It’s not just about corruption anymore; it also involves organized fraud and money laundering under the cover of the Transplantology Assistance Foundation.
The second motion to hold Senator Tomasz Grodzki criminally responsible is the result of an investigation conducted for over three years by the Regional Prosecutor’s Office in Szczecin. Initially, it focused on corruption at the Szczecin-Zdunowo Hospital, where Tomasz Grodzki served as director and senior registrar for many years.
The investigation began at the end of 2019 after Professor Agnieszka Popiela revealed that when her mother underwent surgery at the Szczecin-Zdunowo Hospital, she handed over $500, supposedly intended for the Foundation. Following media exposure, other individuals started coming forward, claiming similar experiences with Prof. Tomasz Grodzki. In total, investigators gathered evidence on 14 corrupt incidents involving Grodzki. Four of these cases hadn’t reached the statute of limitations and were included in the first motion to prosecute the “third person in the state.” However, most of the Senate, consisting of politicians from the “total opposition,” refused to allow Grodzki to face the court and answer the charges brought by the prosecutor’s office.
From the corruption investigation at the Szczecin-Zdunowo Hospital, a thread regarding the Transplantology Assistance Foundation emerged, leading to a separate prosecutorial process. When officers from the Anti-Corruption Bureau (CBA) entered the Foundation and seized its documents, it was discovered that patients had made hundreds of deposits into its account. According to investigators, these funds were collected unlawfully, and the law enforcement authorities believed that an organized criminal activity had been conducted “under the cover” for many years.
Further investigation revealed that the corrupt mechanism was organized and planned by Tomasz Grodzki, who was then serving as the Director of the Prof. Alfred Sokołowski Hospital in Szczecin. He informed his subordinate, Krzysztof K., that patients could receive treatment for obesity using modern methods in the hospital under his management only if they deposited PLN 10,000 into the Transplantology Assistance Foundation’s account.
This scheme persisted for many years, from 2008 to 2019. Investigators interviewed over 230 patients who made payments to the Foundation. “From their testimonies, it is evident that the corrupt mechanism was indeed operational,” further stated the Szczecin National Prosecutor’s Office’s communication. An example highlighted was a patient who made the requested payment and waited for a few weeks for the procedure, while her brother did not make the payment and had to wait for over 1.5 years.
According to the investigators’ findings, this illicit process funneled over PLN 2.3 million into the Foundation, founded by Tomasz Grodzki. These funds were used for various purposes, including trips to far-flung corners of the world. A significant portion, 450,000 PLN, was transferred to Krzysztof K.’s private account.
Last year, Krzysztof K. and two doctors, former and current presidents of the Foundation, faced charges of corruption, fraud, money laundering, and involvement in an organized criminal group operating “under the cover” of the Foundation. Worth mentioning is that these three accused doctors were subordinates of Prof. Tomasz Grodzki at the Szczecin-Zdunowo Hospital.
While the Transplantology Assistance Foundation, affiliated with the Szczecin-Zdunowo Hospital, thrived, the same cannot be said for the institution managed by Tomasz Grodzki. In recent years, under Grodzki’s leadership, the hospital faced financial collapse. Debts in the tens of millions resulted in the hospital no longer functioning independently. It was merged with a larger provincial hospital on Arkonska Street in Szczecin.