מכל מלמדײ השכלתי (duchifat) wrote,
מכל מלמדײ השכלתי
duchifat

Читаю из любопытства полугодовой отчет Генерального Инспектора National Science Foundation. Как там борются с коррупцией? Много прекрасного в чудной стране, но посадок директоров программ нет. Только профессоров.
https://www.nsf.gov/oig/_pdf/NSF_OIG_SAR_60.pdf


APPEALS COURT UPHOLDS SBIR/STTR FRAUD CONVICTIONS AND SENTENCES
We previously reported that, after an 18-day jury trial in 2015, two scientists (who are married to each other) were convicted on all counts of wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, aggravated identify theft, and falsification of records.15 The scheme involved submitting proposals for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) / Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) funding that included misrepresentations regarding facilities, the eligibility of principal investigators (PI), subcontractors, letters of support, and costs. As previously reported, the district court sentenced the husband and wife defendants to 15 and 13 years in prison respectively and ordered them to pay restitution equal to the total amount awarded—more than $10.5 million.16 The defendants appealed their sentences.

During this reporting period, the Court of Appeals (Court) affirmed the district court in all respects. The Court explained that Congress established the SBIR / STTR programs to provide qualified small businesses with research-and-development support to turn research into actual commercial products and services. On appeal, the defendants admitted that their proposals were faked but nonetheless claimed that their convictions should be overturned because they had performed research and published the results in scientific journals. However, the Court rejected their arguments, stating, “These are not job programs for unemployed scientists and do not fund research merely for the sake of research.”

HUSBAND AND WIFE SENTENCED FOR SBIR/STTR FRAUD, ORDERED TO PAY MORE THAN $5 MILLION IN RESTITUTION
We previously reported on our investigation of a company that appeared to be operating from a home address, contrary to its representations in SBIR proposals submitted to NSF. When we contacted the PI listed on a proposal, he was unaware that he appeared on the company’s proposal. Further investigation identified concerns regarding SBIR and STTR funding to a second company operated by the brother and sister-in-law of the first company’s founder. We discovered that both companies received supplemental grant funding by using shell companies that they represented to NSF as legitimate third-party investors. The companies listed in proposals and reports the names and resumes of individuals without their knowledge or consent and included in proposals fabricated letters of support. The second company principals (husband and wife) also used fabricated quotations from their shell companies to inflate award budgets. We referred the case to a U.S. Attorney’s Office where it was accepted for criminal prosecution.

NON-PROFIT FINANCIAL DIRECTOR PLEADED GUILTY AND WAS SENTENCED FOR FRAUD SCHEME
We previously reported that the former financial director of a non-profit organization was indicted for theft, money laundering, and filing a false tax return.25 The non-profit organization received more than $3 million in Federal grant funds including more than $1.6 million in NSF awards to address water quality, health, environmental, and safety issues. According to court documents, the former director misapplied funds from the organization, which included Federal funds, for his personal benefit. This included the purchase of an airplane, maintenance on an airplane, flight school for himself, the
purchase of real estate, more than a dozen firearms, and online pornography fees
. He also directed another individual to create shell companies and diverted funds to these companies to hide the airplane and real estate purchases.

PI PAID CRIMINAL RESTITUTION IN ADVANCE OF SENTENCING
We previously reported on a joint investigation of a PI who created a shell company to obtain about $200,000 in supplemental SBIR funding from NSF and NASA. The PI submitted grant proposals, correspondence, and reports that misrepresented the identity of an individual allegedly working for the shell company and the existence of an outside investment from that company. The PI was indicted on four counts of wire fraud26 and subsequently pled guilty27 to conversion of Federal funds to personal use. During this semiannual period, the PI paid restitution in advance of sentencing, including more than $45,000 to NSF. Sentencing is scheduled for May 2019.

NSF WITHHELD FINAL PAYMENTS OF MORE THAN $400,000 TO SBIR COMPANY FOLLOWING CIVIL SETTLEMENT
We previously reported that an SBIR company charged NSF and other Federal agency awards for hours worked on unrelated projects and activities. We found evidence that the company requested NSF funds for work it already completed and charged NSF for expenses that were unrelated to the NSF awards. We referred the case to a U.S. Attorney’s Office where it was accepted for civil prosecution.

NSF WITHHELD FINAL PAYMENTS OF MORE THAN $400,000 TO SBIR COMPANY FOLLOWING CIVIL SETTLEMENT
We previously reported that an SBIR company charged NSF and other Federal agency awards for hours worked on unrelated projects and activities. We found evidence that the company requested NSF funds for work it already completed and charged NSF for expenses that were unrelated to the NSF awards.

NSF AND UNIVERSITY MUTUALLY AGREED TO TERMINATE AWARD; MORE THAN $150,000 IN FUNDS RECOVERED
We previously reported on our investigation of an allegation that the PI on an NSF Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) award left his awardee university, took a position at a university in another country, yet remained PI on the award to the awardee university. During the award, the PI accepted a position at the other university and resigned from the awardee university but maintained an adjunct position. The PI disclosed the departure from the awardee university to the NSF Program Officer and received permission from the NSF Program Officer to remain as PI on the award as an adjunct. However, the PI’s departure from the awardee university made the PI ineligible for the award because CAREER award PIs must be in tenure-track or tenure-track-equivalent positions in the U.S. NSF agreed with our recommendation to suspend the award.3"


NSF RECOVERS DUPLICATE RESEARCH FUNDING
We investigated a PI who received funding from NSF for research that was also funded by multiple awards from outside foreign sources. The PI failed to disclose the foreign awards either to NSF or to the original grantee university and subsequently transferred the NSF award to two other universities in the United States.

The original grantee university learned of the potential duplication in funding shortly before the PI transferred to the second university, but without access to the foreign awards, could not determine whether the awards were duplicative. During our investigation, we obtained access to the foreign awards and enlisted a subject matter expert to compare that research with the NSF-funded research. The expert determined that the research funded by the foreign sources was essentially the same as that funded by NSF. Based on our recommendation, NSF terminated the award, resulting in more than $14,000 of funds put to better use.
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