Two University of Houston professors indicted on fraud charges
Two University of Houston professors have been accused of falsely obtaining approximately $1.3 million from a federal small business program over 13 years, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. The pair face 29 counts of conspiracy, wire fraud and making false statements in connection to obtaining the funds from the Small Business Innovation Research program. The DOJ says the pair sent fraudulent letters and applications to the SBIR making false claims about their facilities, equipment and materials, listing costs that the company would not incur, according to the Houston Chronicle.But an attorney for Bensaoula said the false statements were due to poor accounting, not fraud, according to the Chronicle. Bensaoula pleaded not guilty the same day as their arrest, while Starikov is deliberating with his attorney, according to the Chronicle.
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