Professor Charged with $16 Million NIH Grant Fraud Scheme


A federal grand jury in the District of Maryland has indicted Hoau-Yan Wang, a Pennsylvania man, for allegedly defrauding the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) of approximately $16 million in federal grant funds. Wang, 67, was a tenured medical professor at a public university’s medical school and a paid advisor to a Texas biopharmaceutical company. From May 2015 through April 2023, Wang is accused of fabricating and falsifying scientific data in grant applications to the NIH, both for himself and the biopharmaceutical company.

The fraudulent grant applications looked to secure funding for research into a potential treatment and diagnostic test for Alzheimer’s disease. These applications resulted in approximately $16 million in grants awarded between 2017 and 2021, part of which funded Wang’s laboratory work and salary. The indictment claims that Wang’s work under these grants was related to the early development phases of the proposed drug and diagnostic test, typically referred to as Phase 1 and Phase 2 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Wang is charged with one count of major fraud against the United States, two counts of wire fraud, and one count of false statements. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison for the major fraud count, 20 years in prison for each wire fraud count, and five years in prison for the false statements count.

Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri, head of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, and Assistant Director in Charge David Sundberg of the FBI Washington Field Office announced the charges. The FBI Washington Field Office is investigating the case, with Trial Attorney Andrew Tyler, Deputy Chief Anna Kaminska, and Assistant Chief Leslie Garthwaite of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section prosecuting.

An indictment is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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Michael Guta Michael Guta is the Assistant Editor at Small Business Trends and has been with the team for 9 years. He currently manages its East African editorial team. Michael brings with him many years of content experience in the digital ecosystem covering a wide range of industries. He holds a B.S. in Information Communication Technology, with an emphasis in Technology Management.