Duke University is now on the hook for millions in fines after it was discovered they’d faked research papers. The University faked the research as a way to garner more government grants.
The University will now pay $112.5 million to the government. As part of the settlement, Duke will not be found liable for allegedly faking research.
While this may well be standard procedure, it nonetheless smells like the worst kind of bribery. The government chooses not to punish a university that betrayed the greater public in exchange for cash. How that’s anything other than a bribe is beyond me.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the settlement is a “strong message.”
“This settlement sends a strong message that fraud and dishonesty will not be tolerated in the research funding process,” said EPA Acting Region 4 Administrator Mary S. Walker. “We will continue to take appropriate legal measures to ensure a fiscally sound system that protects grant funds.”
For years, Duke has been taking financial grants in the millions from the EPA and the National Institutes of Health. Over the last decade, the DOJ claims Duke submitted fake data and statements in 30 grant claims.
“Taxpayers expect and deserve that federal grant dollars will be used efficiently and honestly. Individuals and institutions that receive research funding from the federal government must be scrupulous in conducting research for the common good and rigorous in rooting out fraud,” said Matthew G.T. Martin, United States Attorney for the Middle District of North Carolina, via MyFox8. “May this serve as a lesson that the use of false or fabricated data in grant applications or reports is completely unacceptable.”
At least now other universities around the nation have a rough idea of the government’s bribe asking price. What will the government do with the $112 million in settlement money? I’m confident we will never know that answer.
Author: Jim Satney
PrepForThat’s Editor and lead writer for political, survival, and weather categories.