CUOMO ANNOUNCES CHARGES AGAINST FORMER UB RESEARCHER FOR HIRING ACTORS TO TESTIFY DURING MISCONDUCT HEARING AND ATTEMPTING TO SI
Posted Feb 18 2010 8:17am
Wow. This guy has written extensively on substance use disorders and domestic violence.
In September 2004, William Fals-Stewart, 48, of Eden, was accused of scientific misconduct for allegedly fabricating data in federally funded studies he was undertaking as an employee at the University at Buffalo and Research Institute on Addictions. According to court papers, the allegations were based upon discrepancies between the number of volunteers he reported to the National Institute for Drug Addiction relating to grants for which Fals-Stewart was the Principal Investigator, and the actual number of volunteers who participated in his studies.
According to the felony complaint, during a subsequent formal investigation launched by the University, three witnesses testified by telephone because Fals-Stewart claimed they were out of town. In reality, they were actors who thought they were taking part in a mock-trial. Fals-Stewart paid the actors to testify. He also provided them with scripts to use during the proceedings that were riddled with inaccuracies regarding his research. Fals-Stewart told the three actors, who he had hired before for legitimate training videos, that they would be performing in a mock trial training exercise. They were not aware that they were testifying at a real administrative hearing, nor did they know they were impersonating real people. Because of these false testimonies, Fals-Stewart was exonerated at the administrative hearing.
Claiming that the misconduct allegations tarnished his reputation, Fals-Stewart sued the University, seeking $4 million from the state in damages. The Office of the Attorney General, in its role of defending the University and the state in the court action, conducted a thorough investigation of the claims against the University. It was during this investigation that Cuomo’s office discovered the alleged fraud, forced Fals-Stewart to withdraw his lawsuit and initiated a criminal investigation.
Fals-Stewart was arrested today and charged in Buffalo City Court with Attempted Grand Larceny in the First Degree (class C felony); three counts of Perjury in the First Degree (class D felony); three counts of Identity Theft in the First Degree (class D felony); two counts of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree (class E felony); and three counts of Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree (class E felony). The maximum permissible sentence for a class C felony is 15 years in prison.