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Foreign Influence on Science Has DOJ Flexing False Claims Act (1)

Dec. 20, 2019, 8:37 PMUpdated: Dec. 20, 2019, 10:54 PM

An unusual settlement over undisclosed Chinese payments to NIH-funded scientists indicates U.S. authorities are willing to use the muscle of the False Claims Act to clamp down on foreign threats to taxpayer-funded innovation.

Van Andel Research Institute, an independent biomedical institute in Grand Rapids, Mich., agreed to pay $5.5 million to settle False Claims Act allegations that two scientists didn’t disclose Chinese government grants as part of federal grant applications and progress reports to the National Institutes of Health. The Department of Justice announced the settlement Dec. 19.

The False Claims Act is a long-standing tool that hasn’t been used ...

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