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Former Penn State professor accused of misusing federal funding

Federal authorities in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, have charged a former professor at Penn State University with laundering money from the federal government and lying on grant application forms. Prosecutors claim the man took more than $3.1 million in grant money between 2006 and 2011 and used it for himself instead of scientific research. If convicted, he could be sentenced to up to 35 years in prison and fined up to $750,000.

The accused man, 55, currently lives in North Carolina. He formerly lived in Centre County, Pennsylvania, when he was a professor of material science and engineering at Penn State in nearby State College. He also owned a company called SentechBiomed, which successfully applied for a grant from the National Institutes of Health for $1,196,359. According to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, the defendant promised in his application to give a little over $500,000 of the grant money to the Hershey Medical Center, Penn State's medical school and hospital.

That money was never given to the medical center, and the clinical studies the defendant said he was performing never happened, prosecutors claimed. He is also accused of committing money laundering with the NIH grant money.

Another part of the indictment involves an application the defendant submitted for a Department of Energy grant in 2009. The application the man submitted said he had no other funding sources for the project, while in fact the man had a grant from the National Science Foundation, according to prosecutors.

Source: The Wilkes Barre Times-Leader, "Former Penn State professor charged in research grant fraud," Jan. 31, 2012

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