Federal and state Governments spend billions of dollars each year on a wide variety research and development projects. According to the Congressional Budget Office, in fiscal year 2012, the federal government allocated a total of over $138 billion for research and development projects. In addition, the federal government provides billions of dollars in research and experimentation tax credits to incentivize private research efforts.

The billions of dollars that the federal government spends each year in support of research and development go towards a wide variety of federal agencies, including: Department of Defense (“DOD”), National Institutes of Health (“NIH”); National Aeronautics and Space Administration (“NASA”), Department of Energy (“DOE”); National Science Foundation (“NSF”)’ Department of Agriculture (“USDA”). These government funded research programs cover many different types of research, from basic and applied research to large scaled development projects. In addition, federal funded research and development projects are performed in a wide variety of settings across the United States, including academic institutions and private industry.

The federal government’s massive spending on research and development has been a frequent target for fraudulent and false claims. Many of the most prestigious academic and private research facilities have been accused of research fraud. Some of the common forms of research grant fraud include:

  • Falsifying a grant application in order to secure a grant
  • Falsifying research data and results
  • Over-charging time, costs and other expenses associated with the grant
  • Falsifying purchase orders for equipment and materials
  • Using grant money for other unrelated research
  • Using grant money for personal expenses
  • Improper conflicts of interest by the principal investigators
  • Falsifying progress reports and other documentation
  • Failing to comply with applicable government safety and other regulations

Attorneys in the global qui tam whistleblower practice of Pietragallo Gordon Alfano Bosick & Raspanti, LLP successfully represented the lead whistleblower in one of the largest qui tam false claims act cases alleging research grant fraud involving recycling technologies, United States ex rel. Eastmond v. Vortec Corp., (E.D.Pa.), which resulted in a recovery of $4.5 million for federal taxpayers.

In many instances, these types of research fraud on the government would go undetected without the efforts of whistleblowers acting under the qui tam provisions of the federal and state false claims acts. If you believe you have information related to a claim of research fraud, and would like to speak with a member of our qui tam whistleblower practice group about a potential false claims case, please feel free to contact us directly or click the Contact Us link.

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If you are aware of any person, corporation or entity that you think may be violating the Federal False Claims Act or a State False Claims Act, contact us today.