A former lab analyst from Duke University has alleged that certain professors there used false research data in order to obtain a federal grant from the Environmental Protection Agency – and the university not only ignored the fraud, but tried to cover it up.
Whistleblower Joseph Thomas has filed a lawsuit exposing the fraudulent use of tax-payer dollars by the university, and Sunday, the Herald Sun reported that investigators at Duke University have admitted that a former professor, Erin Potts-Kant, did submit false or completely fabricated data on 29 different media research reports.
The investigators said they had reviewed at least 36 research reports, and found Potts-Kant had not only “tinkered with data”, but in many cases, had simply “made things up.”
Potts-Kant had worked on a project regarding human respiratory illnesses such as asthma, and the lab was reportedly the main facility professors at Duke and other universities relied upon. Now it is being alleged that “pretty much all the lab work Potts-Kant did in her eight years at Duke was bogus,” the report states.
Additionally, the fake research reports compromised grants worth $112.8 million to Duke and an additional $120.9 million to other universities.
Duke reportedly admitted the fraud, but denied that it tried to cover it up.
Lawyers for Duke University have tried to get the lawsuit dropped, but a federal judge ruled in April that it will proceed.
In a separate case, Potts-Kant was accused of embezzlement in 2013, resulting in her resignation and eventual conviction of that charge.
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