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Tue Apr 29, 2014, 12:15 AM

Two UH professors accused of lying to get research grants

Two University of Houston professors, accused of lying to get more than $1 million in federal research grants, have been charged with making false statements and wire fraud.

Abdelhak Bensaoula, 57, and David Starikov, 58, both professors in the University of Houston's physics department, surrendered to federal authorities Monday morning. The two face one count of conspiracy, seven counts of making false statements and 21 counts of wire fraud, all in connection with the federal Small Business Innovation Research program.

According to the federal indictment, the professors, who started a small business known as Integrated Micro Sensors Inc., allegedly made false statements in the application and proposal process for federal grants. They also did so in filing electronic claims for payment after they were awarded grants or contracts, the indictment says.

It is unclear if they used their positions as professors to win the grants.

However, from 2008 through 2013, the two professors and their business allegedly received at least five Small Business Innovation Resource contracts for approximately $1.3 million. They also applied for and received contracts from NASA, National Science Foundation, Department of Energy and the United States Air Force, according to the indictment.

More at http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Two-UH-professors-accused-of-lying-to-get-5435416.php .

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