A former Georgia Tech professor who stepped down from his position at the school as part of a plea deal for defrauding the National Science Foundation to obtain grant funding will have to pay restitution and spend the next several months at home for the crime.
The U.S. Attorney's Office for Northern Georgia said Maysam Ghovanloo, 46, was sentenced to eight months in home confinement and ordered to pay $40,000 in restitution. He is also barred from doing any business with the federal government for the next three years.
Ghovanloo resigned from his position at Georgia Tech on June 21 and convicted Aug. 21 following his guilty plea.
“Grant funding is limited, and the competition for those dollars is keen,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak. “People awarded grants to do research and development vow that they will adhere to the rules governing it. Ghovanloo decided to sacrifice his reputation by dodging those rules and lying.”
Ghovanloo was accused of using a company he ran, called Bionic Sciences Inc., to submit certifications that had omissions and false and fraudulent statements to get Small Business Innovation Research grants from the National Science Foundation.
“The National Science Foundation's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program provides small businesses with funding to conduct research and development work that will lead to the commercialization of innovative new products and services," Pak said.
"This sentence serves as a reminder that fraud in the SBIR Program will not be tolerated. The NSF Office of Inspector General remains committed to ensuring the integrity of the SBIR program and will actively pursue oversight of these taxpayer funds. I commend the U.S. Attorney’s Office and our investigative partners for their support in this effort.”