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Press Release

Professor Charged for Operating Multimillion-Dollar Grant Fraud Scheme

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

A federal grand jury in the District of Maryland returned an indictment yesterday charging a Pennsylvania man for defrauding the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) of approximately $16 million in federal grant funds.

According to court documents, Hoau-Yan Wang, 67, was a tenured medical professor at a public university’s medical school, as well as a paid advisor and consultant to a publicly traded Texas biopharmaceutical company. From approximately May 2015 through approximately April 2023, Wang allegedly engaged in a scheme to fabricate and falsify scientific data in grant applications made to the NIH on behalf of himself and the biopharmaceutical company. As alleged, the fraudulent grant applications to the NIH sought funding for scientific research of a potential treatment and diagnostic test for Alzheimer’s disease and resulted in the award of approximately $16 million in grants from approximately 2017 to 2021, part of which funded Wang’s laboratory work and salary. 

The indictment alleges that Wang’s work under these grants was related to the early developmental phases of the proposed drug and diagnostic test, typically referred to by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as Phase 1 and Phase 2. Wang’s alleged scientific data falsification in the NIH grant applications related to how the proposed drug and diagnostic test were intended to work and the improvement of certain indicators associated with Alzheimer’s disease after treatment with the proposed drug. 

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 count of major fraud, 20 years in prison for each count of wire fraud, and five years in prison for the count of false statements.  

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 made the announcement.

The FBI Washington Field Office is investigating the case.

Trial Attorney Andrew Tyler, Deputy Chief Anna Kaminska, and Assistant Chief Leslie Garthwaite of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section are prosecuting the case.

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

Updated June 28, 2024

Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 24-830