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Representation of Whistleblower in Grant Fraud Case Against Major University

A Hodgson Russ team led by Daniel C. Oliverio represented an employee of Columbia University who alerted the government of the school’s improper effort reporting in connection with a U.S. Health & Human Services (HHS) grant intended to fund its work in the area of AIDS/HIV prevention. A subsequent investigation revealed that Columbia, as administrator of the grants received through President Bush’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief program, failed to verify that ICAP, a Columbia-affiliated health program, was charging the grant only for work its employees performed in service of approved projects. Columbia agreed to pay more than $9 million to settle the allegations of false claims lodged against the university by the U.S. government under the False Claims Act, making it one of the largest-ever HHS grant fraud cases against an institution of higher education. The whistleblower represented by Hodgson Russ received a portion of the settlement proceeds. The whistleblower, who has been terminated from his position at Columbia’s ICAP, also retained Hodgson Russ in his retaliation claim against the university.