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Former Wayne State medical professor sues, accuses university of defrauding US government

Wayne State University medical school
via flickr

A former Wayne State University medical professor is suing the school over alleged “system-wide” fraud.

In a federal lawsuit, former assistant professor Christian Kreipke alleges the university scammed the US government out of $169 million through fraudulent research proposals.

Kreipke filed the lawsuit in 2012, but court documents were only unsealed recently.

They lay out Kreipke’s claims that Wayne State and its physician group made fraudulent claims to get more government grant money.

Among other things, Kreipke says they inflated supply costs, and requested funds for researchers who did no work on the projects.

“As a result of my firsthand knowledge regarding the submission of fraudulently inflated grants, I have personal knowledge that the federal government was defrauded as it awarded millions of dollars in grants based on inflated proposals,” Kreipke says in court filings.

Kreipke says he also “complained to my supervisors, and the administration, about the fraud related to grant proposals.”

Kreipke says because of his efforts to blow the whistle, he was fired from Wayne State in 2012. His entire staff was also terminated, and expelled from their PhD programs.

In a statement, Wayne State says it hasn’t had a chance to review the lawsuit yet because it hasn’t been served.

But the university notes that Kreipke was fired for “research-related misconduct”—and filed suit only after multiple failed attempts to get his job back. It goes on to say the school “will defend aggressively” against the suit, and is “confident it will result in dismissal.”

Kreipke denies the university's claims, saying he was fired based on “confabulated and concocted statements and data that were untrue and unfounded."

Several federal agencies, including the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services, have spent more than a year investigating the case.

The US government has declined to join the suit as a formal party, but retains the right to do so. An assistant US attorney will monitor the case as it moves forward.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Public in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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