NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL OFFICE OF INVESTIGATIONS CLOSEOUT MEMORANDUM I Case Number: I06010001 Page 1 of 1 I OIG received information internally from OIG Audits regarding a county audit report1 that found evidence of financial fraud described as "improper or unauthorized diversions of millions in endowment monies, federal grants and private donations" at an institution2. The Federal Bureau of Investigation notified NSFIOIG that it had an ongoing investigation on the institution's former Chief Financial officer3. OIGIINV was later contacted by the lead FBI Special ~ ~ eand n told t ~that the Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA)' handling this,matter had deferred the case to the local County rose cut or^ who had already begun to pursue an investigation into the matter. 11 Copies of the interim and final audit reports performed by the county7 were obtained and reviewed. The final report stated that the institution received substantial cash advances from NSF awards during the years audited8, in violation of NSF policies governing such advances, and inappropriately used those advances for its operating expenses rather than for NSF projects. The diversion of funds caused a delay of several months in the transfer of unused balancesg to two principal investigators who moved to different institutions, and prevented the institution from earning interest on the advances while on deposit pending expenditure on NSF projects. The institution eventually returned the remaining unused advances to NSF" and began administering its NSF awards on a reimbursable basis. The audit report and financial records from NSF indicate that the misuse for institutional purposes was temporary, and that the award funds were eventually properly expended on NSF projects, transferred with principal investigators to other institutions, or returned to NSF. Because NSF suffered no monetary loss beyond foregone interest, the District Attorney declined to add the misuse of NSF funds to his charges. Recovery of imputed interest is not feasible due to the institution's financial problems and NSF7svague oversight/enforcement policy on interest. Il Accordingly, this case is closed. I' NSF 01G Form 2 (1 1/02) , 'U
Admin. Financial Violations (PI/PS)
Published by the National Science Foundation, Office of Inspector General on 2007-02-12.
Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)