August 12, 2013 – Chicago, IL. Northwestern University, considered one of the nation’s premier colleges, has agreed to pay $3 Million to settle a whistleblower lawsuit alleging misuse of medical research grant funding. The lawsuit was filed by a former employee, who will receive an award of $498,100 for filing the case in 2009. The alleged fraud occurred when a doctor employed by the university submitted improper claims for reimbursement – including consulting services, subcontracts, food, hotels, travel and other expenses, which were not covered by National Institutes of Health’s medical research grant.

“Allowing researchers to use federal grant money to pay for personal travel, hotels, and meals, and to hire unqualified friends and relatives as ‘consultants’ violates the public’s trust,” said Gary S. Shapiro, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, in a Department of Justice press release.

The settlement follows a number of whistleblower actions that have been filed against colleges and universities for misuse of federal funding. Although the primary targets have been for-profit schools, this settlement shows that government fraud exists even at top universities. Whistleblower claims are filed under the False Claims Act – a federal law that allows an individual with information about government fraud to file a claim on behalf of the government and receive 15-30% of the government’s recovery. Whistleblower claims under the False Claims Act, also known as Qui Tam actions, involve unique procedures and cannot be filed without an attorney according to federal law.

If you have information about fraud involving government funding and would like to find out more about filing a whistleblower lawsuit, contact the attorneys at Levy Konigsberg LLP by calling (800) 315-3806, or by submitting an email inquiry (see form above). All consultations are free of charge and 100% confidential.

IMPORTANT: If you believe you have evidence of fraud against the government, securities fraud, commodities fraud or IRS or New York State tax fraud, contact us for a free, confidential consultation by calling our 24/7 toll-free hotline at (800) 315-3806 or by submitting an email inquiry (see form above).


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