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U.Va. to pay $1 million in settlement agreement regarding federal grant money

The settlement agreement does not constitute an admission of liability

The United States alleges that between 2009 and 2017, the University used federal grant money to purchase certain entities at a discount or rebate but did not return the value of those savings to the federal government.
The United States alleges that between 2009 and 2017, the University used federal grant money to purchase certain entities at a discount or rebate but did not return the value of those savings to the federal government.

The University agreed to pay the United States $1 million Tuesday to settle claims from the federal government that it did not properly account for certain rebates and credits received on purchases using federal grants and awards, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

The United States alleges that between 2009 and 2017, the University used federal grant money to purchase certain entities at a discount or rebate, but did not return the value of those savings to the federal government. 

“[R]ebates and discounts obtained on certain purchases by U.Va. during the 2009 to 2017 time frame were not accounted for in reducing charges against Federal Award funding,” the settlement agreement reads. 

Federal regulations require on an annual basis that “rebates and discounts obtained when making these purchases must be accounted for and subtracted from claims made by a university against Federal Award funds.”

University spokesperson Brian Coy wrote in an email statement to The Cavalier Daily that the University is pleased to have resolved the matter with the federal government.

“The University takes seriously its responsibility to be a good steward of federal funds and addressed areas of potential disagreement regarding accounting for rebates and credits for the time period between 2009-2017,” Coy said. “The University has fully cooperated with the investigation and implemented new policy changes to our accounting practices.”

The agreement is neither “an admission of liability by U.Va. nor a concession by the United States that its claims are not well founded,” the settlement reads. Accordingly, there is no determination of civil liability in the settlement. 

The settlement results from coordinated efforts among the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, the Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, the NASA Office of Inspector General and the Army Criminal Investigation Command. 

Support was provided by the National Science Foundation Office of Inspector General, the Department of Education, the Department of Commerce and the Department of Energy.

The matter was investigated by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gerard Mene and Kristin Starr.

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