If a grant or contract is awarded on the basis of false or misrepresented information, or if the University does not comply with sponsor’s requirements, the sponsor may take any necessary and appropriate action, which may include pursuit of administrative, civil, or criminal remedies.
Syracuse University, the Office of Sponsored Programs, the PI or others may be subject to administrative or other remedies if we deliberately withhold information, submit fraudulent information, or do not comply with applicable requirements. Even if a grant is not awarded, the University may be subject to penalties if the information contained in or submitted as part of an application, including its certifications and assurances, is found to be false, fictitious, or fraudulent.
Agencies of the federal government may pursue civil or criminal action under a variety of statutes and regulations, including:
The Program Fraud and Civil Remedies Act of 1986, 31 U.S.C. 3801 et seq., provides for the administrative imposition by HHS of civil penalties and assessments against persons who knowingly make false, fictitious, or misleading claims to the Federal government for money, including money representing grants, loans, or benefits. A civil penalty of not more than $5,000 may be assessed for each such claim. If a grant is awarded and payment is made on a false or fraudulent claim, an assessment of not more than twice the amount of the claim, up to $150,000, may be made in lieu of damages. Regulations at 45 CFR Part 79 specify the process for imposing civil penalties and assessments, including hearing and appeal rights.
The Criminal False Claims Act, 18 U.S.C. 287 and 1001, provides for criminal prosecution of a person who knowingly makes or presents any false, fictitious, or fraudulent statements or representations or claims against the United States. Violations carry a maximum sentence of 5 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000.
The Civil False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. 3729(a), provides for imposition of penalties and damages by the United States, through civil litigation, against any person who knowingly makes a false or fraudulent claim for payment, makes or uses a false record or false statement to get a false claim paid or approved, or conspires to defraud the Federal government to get a false claim paid. A “false claim” is any request or demand for money or property made to the United States or to a contractor, grantee, or other recipient, if the Federal government provides or will reimburse any portion of the funds claimed. Civil penalties of $5,500 to $11,000 may be imposed for each false claim, plus damages of up to three times the amount of the false claim.
Federal agencies may also administratively recover misspent grant funds pursuant to the authorities contained in the Code of Federal Regulations.