SAN FRANCISCO (Up News Info SF) – The University of San Francisco has agreed to pay $ 2.56 million in fraudulent claims for federal AmeriCorps grant funds for students working to earn teaching degrees, according to federal authorities.
The United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of California said Friday that the USF obtained funding from AmeriCorps for the San Francisco Teacher Residency Program, which provides tuition and living expenses to students who they also serve as apprentices to teachers in high-need schools at San Francisco Unified School. District.
Student volunteers had to work a specific number of hours that had to be accurately documented. The United States Attorney's Office said the USF Teacher Residency Program falsified more than 1,500 timesheets and falsely certified 61 education awards during the 2014-2016 grant years to earn $ 1.7 million in grant funds federal.
The allegations of fraudulent claims were first raised in a wrongdoing suit against USF by the former assistant director of the university's teacher residency program.
“A whistleblower stepped forward to expose blatant fraud. Our thanks to him, to the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of California for his energetic action and USF cooperation to make the public a whole, "said Deborah J. Jeffrey, Corporation Inspector General National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency that administers the AmeriCorps program.
When the issues were brought to the attention of USF senior management, USF voluntarily renounced the grant and actively cooperated during the investigation, according to the United States Attorney's Office.
"When federal grantees commit fraud to obtain or retain federal grant money, the United States Attorney's Office and our federal law enforcement partners will prosecute these criminals, seeking substantial civil damages and penalties when necessary "Prosecutor Scott said. "In this case, USF cooperation with federal investigators was a key factor in determining an appropriate resolution."
The claims resolved by the settlement are only allegations; there has been no determination of liability.