A former Georgia Institute of Technology professor recently paid $40,000 to the National Science Foundation after pleading guilty to defrauding the federal institution.
Maysam Ghovanloo, 46, will be sentenced in November for wire fraud, which he committed through his company, Bionic Sciences, Inc.
According to U.S. Attorney BJay Pak, Ghovanloo, through Bionic Sciences, Inc., received federal grants through Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) programs sponsored by National Science Foundation.
To be eligible for SBIR grant funds, Ghovanloo and his company were required to meet program-eligibility requirements, adhere to award terms and conditions, and provide only truthful information in all documents submitted to the National Science Foundation.
"But Dr. Ghovanloo submitted certifications that contained materially false and fraudulent statements and omissions, followed by electronic payment requests to NSF," Pak said. "Federal grants awarded to develop new medical instruments require meticulous and truthful records be kept of how those dollars are applied."
The SBIR funds are designed to help bring "new innovations to fulfillment, and hopefully also into the medical arena, where they can be used for wellness," making the crime particularly disappointing, Pak said.
As part of his plea, Ghovanloo is barred from doing business with the federal government for three years. In addition, Ghovanloo resigned from his position at Georgia Tech, effective June 21.