A former analyst at Duke University says in a federal lawsuit that the institution and faculty members falsified research to unlawfully obtain federal grants to conduct medical research. In the recent whistleblower claim against Duke University, the whistleblower says that a researcher manipulated research results and data to obtain up to $200 million in federal grant money from such agencies as the National Institutes of Health and the Environmental protection agency. Included in the lawsuit are University officials, who the whistleblower says acted negligently in supervising the research faculty member.
Duke Retracts Research Conducted By Faculty Member
The allegations came to light after the researcher was arrested on embezzlement charges related to separate matters. After the arrest, 16 research papers that the faculty member had worked on and used to obtain federal grant money were retracted by the university. Other researchers and faculty members reportedly assisted in creating findings in the now-retracted research work.
The case was originally filed in Virginia; however the case was recently removed to North Carolina. The lawsuit seeks up to $600 million in damages. A judge chambered in North Carolina recently denied motions to dismiss the case filed by the defendants. The lawsuit is poised to proceed in federal court.
Whistleblowers Receive Portion Of Any Verdict Or Settlement
The whistleblower filed the lawsuit under the False Claims Act, which allows individuals who have knowledge of fraudulent billing practices in government contracts to sue to recover fraudulently obtained funds. In general, the lawsuits are filed on behalf of the government to recover the money. For coming forward and participating in the lawsuit, whistleblowers receive a percentage of any verdict or settlement in the case.