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Grant and Research Fraud

This archive displays posts tagged as relevant to fraud in government grant and research programs. You may also be interested in the following pages:

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September 11, 2020

The Scripps Research Institute will pay $10 million to settle claims that overcharged the National Institutes of Health under research grants.  Under the terms of the grants, recipients may only use grant funds on tasks that specifically relate to the funded project.  Defendant was alleged to have an inadequate system for tracking researcher time and expenses, resulting in improper charges to the government for costs unrelated to funded projects, including time spent writing new grant applications, teaching, and engaging in other administrative activities. Former Scripps employee Thomas Burris, Ph.D., will receive $1.75 million as a whistleblower reward.  DOJ; USAO MD

How Whistleblowers Can Report Fraud Related to Clinical Trials

Posted  09/4/20
Microscope
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of government-funded scientific and medical research, including clinical trials of vaccines, treatments, and more.  We are all potentially at risk if there is fraud and abuse in clinical trials and other research. Individuals with knowledge of fraud and misconduct in federal grants and clinical trials may be able to bring a whistleblower action for that research...

Prisoner turned whistleblower speaks out after uncovering massive stimulus fraud

Posted  07/10/20
silhouette of man behind prison bars
After discovering that various Utah government entities had misappropriated millions in federal grant dollars following the 2008 economic bailout, Reginald Williams filed a qui tam lawsuit in early 2015 to report the fraud to the United States. Williams’s claims initiated a federal investigation and lawsuit accusing criminal justice agencies in Utah of grant fraud. When the government intervened and the case became...

June 30, 2020

The University of Virginia will pay $1 million to resolve claims that it received rebates and credits on the purchase of materials and failed to account for those rebates and credits and reduce charges to the federal government in connection with federal grants and awards the university received.  USAO EDVA

May 22, 2020

The University of San Francisco has agreed to pay $2.5 million to resolve allegations of knowingly presenting false and fraudulent claims in order to obtain federal grants under the AmeriCorps State and National Program to support its San Francisco Teacher Residency Program, which supplements tuition and living expenses for teacher apprentices working within the local school district.  The government’s investigation, triggered by a whistleblower’s qui tam complaint, revealed that over 1,500 timesheets had been falsified and 61 awards had been falsely certified between 2014-2016, netting the university’s program and students over $1.7 million in grants.  USAO CDCA

De Vos’s Education Department Quietly Granted For-Profit Mogul's Colleges Non-Profit Status, Reversing Obama Administration’s Decision

Posted  05/4/20
grad cap on hundred dollar bills
In the wake of scandals surrounding the for-profit college model, some institutions—and their executives—have sought to transition to non-profits.  These conversions pose the concrete risk that taxpayers will be left subsidizing institutions trying to skirt federal regulations meant to protect students.  As a result, the Obama Administration scrutinized them carefully, particularly where the rebranded non-profit...

April 27, 2020

Following a self-disclosure by Harvard University, the university will pay $1.36 million to resolve allegations that its T.H. Chan School of Public Health overstated the time and effort spent on certain NIH grants managed by professor Donna Spiegelman.  The government alleges that Professor Spiegelman and her team inappropriately distributed their time across all grants for which they provided statistical support, without accurately accounting for the time they actually spent on particular grants and, further, that the university knew or should have known about the overcharges.  USAO Mass

April 15, 2020

Rice University in Texas has agreed to pay more than $3.7 million to settle claims of improperly charging unrelated expenses to National Science Foundation (NSF) research and development awards, in violation of the False Claims Act.  From 2006 to 2018, Rice University allegedly falsely certified that they were complying with NSF award terms and conditions, when in fact they were knowingly and improperly charging graduate students’ teaching stipends and unrelated administrative charges to the grants.  USAO SDTX

Top Ten Non-Healthcare False Claims Act Recoveries of 2019

Posted  01/10/20
False Claims Act
This year, federal and state governments recovered hundreds of millions of dollars thanks to whistleblowers who came forward to report fraud under the federal False Claims Act and state False Claims Acts.  Whistleblowers reported a wide-range of misconduct involving government contracts, including fraud by defense contractors, airlines, and even a major research university.  Defendants’ deception ran the gamut...

January 7, 2020

After self-disclosing to the government about grant accounting errors in 2011, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) has agreed to pay back $4.5 million in excess funds received from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  The errors had been in effect between two different periods, from 2007 to 2011 and from 2014 to 2017, and had caused the University to inadvertently charge salary costs to grants after the grant terms had ended.  USAO MDNC
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