These can be twisted, inept, inventive, off the charts; but the classic university fraud – UD has no idea why, but she’s been covering university frauds for a long time – involves the director of an engineering-related program, a guy, who creates a fake company and gives his grant money from the federal government to that company and then uses it to buy a condo on a golf course and a Lexus and a whole lotta other shit.

Not that I want to beat up on my already unranked institution, but George Washington University experienced exactly such a fraud just a few years ago.

Since these always go according to a rather strict formula, you’d figure schools would have guards posted at the doors of their directors of engineering programs, but I guess this is not considered good form. In any case, it keeps happening, with Morgan State University the latest case.

A full-time engineering professor at Morgan State University was indicted by a federal grand jury Wednesday in an alleged scheme to defraud the National Science Foundation of hundreds of thousands of dollars in grant funding.

Manoj Kumar Jha, 45, who oversees the university’s transportation engineering graduate program, according to the university’s website, allegedly fabricated an elaborate research proposal on behalf of a private company he founded and then applied for funding through the NSF’s Small Business Technology Transfer program, according to the Maryland U.S. attorney’s office…. Jha received $200,000 to conduct the research but instead allegedly made personal mortgage and credit card payments, paid his wife $11,000 for work she didn’t do and wrote himself a $6,000 check, prosecutors said.

Jha, who is also the founding director of Morgan State’s Center of Advanced Transportation and Infrastructure Engineering Research, also applied for $500,000 more for the project but did not receive it, prosecutors said.

And what a tangled web we weave!

In March 2011, Jha allegedly sent back faked time sheets for a purported research scientist as well as a copy of a faked expenditure ledger “in which he allegedly entered fictitious research expenses in order to conceal the fact that NSF funds had been converted to Jha’s personal use,” prosecutors said.

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7 Responses to “A truly classic university fraud.”

  1. Polish Peter Says:

    He evidently missed this event:
    http://www.morgan.edu/Administration/Academic_Affairs/Office_of_Sponsored_Programs_and_Research/Events/RCR_Workshop.html

  2. Van L. Hayhow Says:

    Greed? But of course why these programs? Because there is money to be recruited?

  3. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Van: Yep. As Willie Sutton said, that’s where the money is.

  4. Jack/OH Says:

    Bad stuff for the academy, UD. I’ve worked in the private sector where there’s been financial misconduct. Innocents are hurt, careers thwarted, organizational zeal stunted, etc. That’s before the perp is caught and fired or prosecuted.

  5. University Diaries » “Paul Allaire, a long-time professor in the engineering school, may have used a personal consulting company to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from the program he presided over at UVa.” Says:

    […] History here. […]

  6. Leonardo Says:

    All of that is common practice amongst teachers at brasilian universities. I suspect that’s the main reason why even the most promising stundents never go private and open their own consulting companies. The competition is just bluntly unfair.

  7. womans health magazine Says:

    womans health magazine

    University Diaries ยป A truly classic university fraud.

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