A current professor in the University of Washington (UW) College of Engineering won an award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) based on a falsified application that named two other investigators who were actually never involved in the research.
In a case that contains a lot of unknowns, the professor’s actions led to an $801,756 payment to the federal government to resolve False Claims Act allegations, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said on Oct. 21. The settlement comes on the heels of another grant fraud agreement with a second Washington university.
Washington State University (WSU) recently agreed to pay $824,208, of which $274,897 is a penalty, as part of a rare settlement with the HHS Office of Inspector General involving more than five dozen awards for which WSU exceeded a salary cap limitation.
According to a brief announcement by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington, Mehmet Sarikaya, who was not mentioned by name, was a principal investigator (PI) on NSF awards, including for the “highly competitive ‘Designing Materials to Revolutionize and Engineer our Future’ program.”