NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION 4201 WILSON BOULEVARD ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA 22230 OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL MEMORANDUM - ~~ March .- .. 9-97-- - . -- - - -:--- .. .. - ... - Date: , To: I9407003 1 From: ,- Special Agent I Via: Special Agent- Re : Resolution of Case O n July 6, 1994, our office was informed by the Defense Criminal Investigative Service NSF excess property screener employed by the b- fo as being paid by the president ain federal excess property under the guise of using xcess property t c o r commercial resale. Based on this allegation, our office, DCIS, U.S. Air Force office <f Special Investigations (OSI), and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) opened a joint investigation. Background Initially, we reviewed and analyzed all SF-122 forms submitted to NSF by the University of w from 1989 to the present. We determined that, since 1989, approximately 11,78 ,086 worth of federal excess property has been transferred t o f o r use on 13 different NSF grants. Nearly all of the transfer forms were signed by- with the certification that the property was going to be used in conjunction with NSF grants and, then subsequently approved by the cognizant NSF program official. However, approximately 65% of this property was transferred on three separate dates: Also, only 13% of this property appears o n l l p r o p e r t y records. Investigation Following Initial Analysis In September 1995, an investigation team made up of special agents from DCIS FBI OSI, and NSF 01G interviewed s e v e r a l r e s e a r c h e r s employees, and employees of The majority of these researchers stated that they had received federal excess property from- but that the equipment was not in working order and therefore useless. These researchers stated that they sent this equipment back t o to dispose of it. During these admitted that he personally handled all federal excess I property transfers to W p r o p e r t y disposal. claimed that he did not obtain federal excess property with the intent to divert it to agy commercial entity and yet he refused to take a polygraph examination. He stated that the majority of the equipment he 1 obtained for the researchers was damaged and useless and was consequently sold at a auction or d i s p o y o f through t h e m scrap contract. -property management record were of little assistance because they listed but a small fraction of the actual urouertv received and disposed of ...by- .................... . ... . a l s o admitted knowing the owner of b u t denied any financial or working relationship w i t h In addition, the investigation determined that had the scrap contract with management office and that, in fact, this contract was awarded she is an administrator withi-ffice). Finally, it was shown children had even worked a#as part-time employees. Further investigation by OSI, DCIS, and.) special agents consisted of, in part, interviews of witnesses who alleged that had received cash and other items from the owner of and t h a ~ ~ c a s i o n apicked l l ~ up scrap property f r o m a t e at night. According to these special agents, these allegations have been unsibstantiated by any financial documentation obtained through grand jury subpoenas or subject admissions. Conclusion Discussions with the U.S. Attorney's Office (USAO) for the revealed that there were several problems in quantifying the amount of alleged material diverted t o m . In addition, the USAO has concluded that there is inadequate evidence s h o w i n g intent to create such a diversion and has requested that all agencies work on developing this aspect of the case. We have concluded that the critical element of this case is the ability of the investigation to completely trace specific items of equipment from t h e e to -, through t h m property management system, and eventually t o To-date, the invest~gationhas not been able to trace one piece of excess property in this manner. We also concluded that the evidence showing alleged intent is weak and we do not anticipate new evidence surfacing that will make this aspect of the case stronger. Therefore, further use of NSF investigation resources is not warranted at this time. This case is closed.
Theft of NSF Property
Published by the National Science Foundation, Office of Inspector General on 1997-03-25.
Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)