The U.S. Attorney’s office for the District of Connecticut announced last week that it had entered into a settlement with Yale University. The university paid $7.6 million to the government based upon claims that it had violated the False Claims Act and other laws. The government alleged the Yale misused research grant money it received from approximately 30 federal agencies in two distinct ways from 2000 to 2006. The first alleged misuse was that certain Yale researchers improperly charged expenditures to federal grant accounts when those charges did not specifically relate to the grant project. The other allegation was that some researchers charged 100% of their time to federal grant accounts when, in fact, much of their work was on unrelated projects.
The five government agencies responsible for the bulk of the grants to Yale are the Department of Health and Human Services, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, the Department of Defense, and NASA. In the six years the allegations dealt with, Yale received almost $3 billion in federal grant funding.