Karl-Heinz Kuck steps down from the ESC and EHRA after fraud conviction


Karl-Heinz Kuck (Department of Cardiology, Asklepios Klinik St. Georg, Hamburg, Germany) has withdrawn his candidacy for president-elect of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and also resigned from board of the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA). This follows, as reported by Larry Husten on the website Cardiobrief, a conviction for fraud.

According to Husten, Kuck was found guilty for treating patients who he did not see. He states that “Kuck told the German press that he was sorry for the error and that he was unaware his behaviour was illegal” and notes that some German newspapers “reported that it is a common practice in Germany for prominent physicians to receive payments for work performed by other physicians”. Kuck has been fined 100,000 Euros and given a one-year suspended prison sentence, which means he will not serve time unless he receives another conviction for fraud. 

An ESC press statement states that Kuck decided to stand down from his candidacy in order “to protect the reputation of the ESC”. The society comments: “We wish to thank him for more than a decade of loyal service and his many contributions.”