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Kansas firm settles allegations it submitted false claims

November 23, 2020 GMT

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A Lawrence, Kansas, engineering firm and its two top officials will pay $672,352 to settle allegations that the company submitted false claims to obtain grant federal grant funds, the U.S. attorney’s office said Monday.

KalScott Engineering, Inc. and its president, Thomas Sherwood, and Vice President Suman Saripalli were accused of wrongfully obtaining funds from the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs.

The programs encourage American small businesses to engage in research on behalf of the federal government that has the potential for commercialization.

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The government said that between 2012 and 2015 the company received grants from the National Institutes of Health, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the Navy.

The U.S. attorney’s office said in a news release that the company wrongfully obtained the funds from NASA and the Navy because KalScott designated Saripalli as a principal investigator when he was not eligible to serve in that role. It also alleged the firm did not perform a majority of work under the Air Force grant and that KalScott used different key personnel than it listed in its proposal to obtain the NIH grant.

The settlement made no determination of liability.