Florida Jail Prison

New York Medical Professor From Pennsylvania Charged With Multimillion-Dollar Grant Fraud

Florida Jail Prison
Inside of Jail. TFP File Photo

A federal indictment unsealed Friday alleges that a tenured medical professor swindled the National Institutes of Health (NIH) out of millions of dollars in research funding.

Hoau-Yan Wang, 67, of Pennsylvania, is accused of fabricating and falsifying scientific data in grant applications submitted to the NIH on behalf of himself and a publicly traded Texas biopharmaceutical company. The fraudulent applications sought funding for research into a potential treatment and diagnostic test for Alzheimer’s disease.

Prosecutors allege the scheme ran from May 2015 to April 2023, resulting in roughly $16 million in grant money awarded between 2017 and 2021. A portion of these funds reportedly supported Wang’s laboratory research and salary.

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The indictment details how Wang allegedly manipulated data to make the proposed treatment and diagnostic test appear more promising than they actually were. These falsifications likely influenced the NIH’s decision to award funding.

Wang faces a four-pronged charge:

  • One count of major fraud against the United States
  • Two counts of wire fraud
  • One count of false statements

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If convicted, he could face a significant sentence, including up to ten years in prison for the major fraud charge and potentially even longer for the wire fraud charges.

The case highlights the importance of research integrity and the potential consequences for those who abuse the grant system. The Department of Justice often pursues such cases to safeguard taxpayer dollars and ensure the scientific community receives accurate data.

This incident is also a blow to public trust in scientific research. Publicly funded research is crucial for medical advancements, and such alleged misconduct can discourage future funding and collaboration.

Further details regarding the biopharmaceutical company’s involvement and any potential legal repercussions they may face are likely to be revealed as the case progresses.

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