Nevada Board of Regents Pays $1.45M to Settle Improper Claims Allegations
Following a self-disclosure to the HHS Office of Inspector General, the Board of Regents of the Nevada System of Higher Education paid the government $1,450,947.81 million to settle possible violations related to unallowable subaward and misspending of funds from NIH and Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) awards, OIG announced. A former principal investigator at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, caused UNLV to make unallowable subawards to “organizations without sufficient documentation of whether the activities were for the performance of the awards, or because they were made to entities with which the PI had an undisclosed conflict of interest,” the agency said.
Additionally, salary and fringe benefits for the PI lacked “adequate documentation,” and awards were improperly spent on “travel and associated costs of at least two trips to Nigeria that were unallowable because there was no evidence that the trip was in furtherance of the NIH-funded research.” Related to the HRSA award, OIG said UNLV improperly charged a portion of the salary of a nurse practitioner working in UNLV’s HIV clinic, “when UNLV lacked sufficient documentation to support such salary costs charged to the award.” OIG’s announcement said UNLV had potentially violated the Civil Monetary Penalties Law. It did not say when the self-disclosure or the alleged improper expenditures occurred or what the payment amount is based on.