Harvard Agrees to Repay $1.3M for Federal Grant Overcharges

(AP) —

Harvard University has agreed to pay more than $1.3 million to settle claims that a research team overcharged certain federal grants, federal prosecutors in Boston said.

The team at the T.H. Chan School of Public Health led by former professor Donna Spiegelman overcharged the government $1,359,791 between 2009 and 2014 by overstating the time and effort members put into projects funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Health Resources & Services Administration, the U.S. attorney for Massachusetts said in a statement Monday.

The overcharges were self-reported by the Ivy League university, the statement said.

“Grant fraud wastes scarce government resources and limits the availability of funding for other research,” U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling said.

Spiegelman, in a statement released to The Boston Globe through her attorney, said Harvard didn’t consult her before agreeing to a settlement and denied any wrongdoing.

Michelle Williams, dean of the faculty at the Chan School, said in a statement that the university’s own investigation identified reporting discrepancies for Spiegelman and members of her research group that resulted in charges to NIH awards that could not be fully documented.

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