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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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August 29, 2016

The ringleader and two other defendants in the massive IWorks online billing scheme have agreed to settle FTC charges that they took more than $280 million from consumers via deceptive “trial” memberships for bogus government-grant and money-making products. In addition, the wife and parents of IWorks’ owner and CEO Jeremy Johnson have agreed to settle FTC charges that they received assets and funds as gifts from Johnson that came from the unlawful scheme. FTC

July 21, 2016

New Jersey filed an action against an Ocean County home improvement contracting company and two of its owners for allegedly taking more than $1.1 million from Superstorm Sandy victims – including over $898,000 in federal relief grants – and failing to begin or complete the contracted-for work. The Price Home Group Limited Liability Company of Manahawkin, and its owners Jonathan Price of Manahawkin, and Scott Cowan of Demarest, took significant initial payments to elevate or replace Sandy-damaged homes then failed to begin work, performed the work in a substandard manner and/or abandoned unfinished projects without returning for weeks, months, or at all, according to the state’s Complaint filed in Ocean County Superior Court. NJ

July 14, 2016

Columbia University agreed to pay $9.5 million to resolve charges it violated the False Claims Act for improperly seeking and receiving excessive cost recoveries in connection with research grants funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  According to the government, Columbia impermissibly applied its “on-campus” indirect cost rate, instead of the much lower “off-campus” indirect cost rate, when seeking federal reimbursement for 423 NIH grants where the research was primarily performed at off-campus facilities owned and operated by the State of New York and New York City.  The government further alleged Columbia failed to disclose to NIH that it did not own or operate these facilities and that Columbia did not pay for use of the space for most of the relevant period.  The allegations originated with a whistleblower lawsuit filed under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act.  The whistleblower will receive a yet-to-be-determined whistleblower award from the proceeds of the government's recovery.  DOJ (SDNY)

July 13, 2016

A Kentucky federal court entered a civil judgment of roughly $4.5 million against Vesta Brue and her medical device companies LifeTechniques, Inc. and Care Team Solutions LLC for violating the False Claims Act by making false statements that allowed them to receive millions of dollars in federal grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  According to the settlement agreement, NIH awarded Brue and her companies five Small Business Innovation Research grants, worth millions of dollars, to support the development of electronic pillboxes customized for specific patient populations, including HIV and pediatric patients.  But Brue and her companies acknowledged that Brue spent the grant money on personal expenses, such as plastic surgery, jewelry, home renovations, and massages, among other expenses.  She also used grant money on business expenses not allowed under the grant regulations, such as costs associated with marketing and promoting her businesses.  DOJ (EDKY)

June 2, 2016

Aquatic Sensor Network Technology (Aquasent)and several of its officials and employees, namely Dr. Jun-Hong Cui, Dr. Yong Ma, Dr. Shengli Zhou, Dr. Zhijie Shi, and Juanjuan Liao, agreed to pay $400,000 to resolve allegations they violated the False Claims Act in the management of federally-funded grants awarded to Aquasent by the National Science Foundation.  DOJ (DCT)

March 9, 2016

New York-based Bard College agreed to pay $4 million to resolve allegations it violated the False Claims Act by receiving funds under the Department of Education’s Teacher Quality Partnership Grant Program despite failing to comply with the conditions of the grant.  The settlement also resolves allegations that Bard awarded, disbursed, and received Title IV student loan funds at campus locations before such locations were accredited or before providing notice of such locations to the Department of Education in violation of applicable regulations and Bard’s Title IV Program Participation Agreements with the agency.  The allegations originated in a whistleblower lawsuit filed under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act by two former students of Bard’s Master of Arts in Teaching Program at Paramount Bard Academy in Delano, California.  They will receive a yet-to-be-determined whistleblower award from the proceeds of the government's recovery.  DOJ (EDCA)

November 20, 2015

The University of Florida agreed to pay $19.875 million to settle allegations the university improperly charged the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for salary and administrative costs on hundreds of federal grants.  According to the government, the university overcharged hundreds of grants for the salary costs of its employees, where it did not have documentation to support the level of effort claimed on the grants for those employees.  The government also contended the university charged for impermissible administrative costs for equipment and supplies and inflated costs charged to the grants.  DOJ

August 21, 2015

Wholly-owned Lockheed Martin Corporation subsidiary Sandia Corporation agreed to pay $4,790,042 to resolve allegations it violated the Byrd Amendment and the False Claims Act by using federal funds for activities related to lobbying Congress and federal agencies to obtain a renewal of its Management and Operating Contract with the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration to operate the Sandia National Laboratories.  DOJ

December 1, 2014

Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) agreed to pay $4M to resolve allegations under the False Claims Act that it submitted false claims to the Corporation for National and Community Service concerning AmeriCorps state and national grants. The allegations first arose from a whistleblower lawsuit filed by MCCCD employee Christine Hunt under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act. She will receive a whistleblower award of $775,827. DOJ

October 28, 2014

Columbia University agreed to pay $9M to settle allegations it defrauded the government of grant funding for AIDS and HIV related work. Specifically, the government charged that as the grant administrator for ICAP (formerly known as International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs), Columbia was required but failed to verify for nearly 200 ICAP employees that they performed the work for which they received grant funding. This resulted in Columbia obtaining grants for work that was not actually performed on the project being funded. Whistleblower Insider
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