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Lehigh U. Compliance Plan Provides Blueprint for Oversight, Audit Schedule

As part of its recent settlement with the Department of Justice regarding allegations of False Claims Act (FCA) violations, Lehigh University of Pennsylvania is implementing an oversight and training structure that could serve as a template for others with federal research dollars, according to the compliance plan obtained by RRC.

Lehigh, based in Bethlehem, agreed to follow the two-year plan and pay $200,000 in connection with the 2015 conviction of a former Lehigh professor and his wife for duping both the university and several federal agencies through the creation of a sham research firm called ArkLight.[1] The university also separately implemented a number of other policies and procedures, according to information the university provided to RRC. [2]

The unusual, government-endorsed plan applies broadly, consisting of “compliance requirements [to be followed] in connection with any application seeking federal grant funds or cooperative agreements with any federal agency,” William McSwain, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, announced July 31.

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