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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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May 12, 2021

Technology company MobileActive will pay $500,000, and its principal Katrin Verclas will serve two years in prison in civil and criminal resolutions arising from the defendants' scheme to defraud the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor ("DRL").  In 2010, MobileActive applied for and was awarded a $1.4 million DRL grant to develop and promote a "mobile security toolkit" for human rights organizations and activists to use in assessing and mitigating risks associated with mobile communications. After claiming $1.2 million in grant funds, Verclas failed to respond to requests for information from the State Department; she has admitted that she failed to comply with grant requirements, and directed the funds to her personal use while concealing the nature of the transactions from MobileActive's bank.  USAO MD

March Madness: AstraZeneca Fudges the Clinical Trial Results for Its COVID-19 Vaccine

Posted  03/26/21
By Edward Baker
basketball hoop in basketball court
In case you haven’t been following the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament (or even if you have), you might be surprised to learn that the University of Hartford is poised to win it all this year—except for the fact that it lost in the first round of the tournament to Baylor University, 79-55, and has been eliminated from the competition. Likewise, in case you haven’t been following the results of COVID-19...

November 23, 2020

A former Purdue University professor and his wife have been sentenced to 2 years’ probation each after pleading guilty to defrauding the National Science Foundation (NSF).  Additionally, Dr. Qingyou Han and Lu Shao have been ordered to pay over $1.6 million in restitution to NSF and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, which had provided Shao’s company, Hans Tech, LLC with a matching grant.  As part of the guilty plea, Han and Shao admitted to devising a scheme to obtain grant money under NSF’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program by making false statements and material omissions.  Instead, they used the funds to enrich themselves and their children.  USAO NDIN

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
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