Former University of Maryland Graduate Student Sentenced in Federal Court For Fraudulently Obtaining Federal Grant Funds to Pay for Doctorate Program
Greenbelt, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Theodore D. Chuang sentenced Jermaine Dory, age 25, of Woodbridge, Virginia, today to three years of probation including 50 hours of community service, for wire fraud arising from his federal felony conviction for a scheme to submit false documentation to the University of Maryland to obtain over $40,000 in grant funds intended for minority participants in a doctorate program. Judge Chuang also ordered Dory to pay $33,420.50 in restitution, the amount of the grant minus monies already paid by Dory. Dory pleaded guilty on July 18, 2016.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and the Inspector General Allison C. Lerner of the National Science Foundation, Office of Inspector General.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) funded the 2012-2014 Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Bridge to the Doctorate Fellowship Program (Program) at the University of Maryland in College Park. In order to participate in the Program, an applicant must provide evidence of participation in an LSAMP undergraduate program and submit a nomination from the applicant’s undergraduate LSAMP director or faculty member.
According to his plea agreement, Dory applied to the Program and on September 3, 2013, emailed the University of Maryland a document he had created that falsely purported to verify that he had participated in the LSAMP undergraduate Summer Bridge program in the California State University system during the summer of 2010. The document included fraudulent letterhead from California State University, Fullerton, and a fraudulent signature for the actual LSAMP Bridge to Doctorate campus director at a California State University campus.
Relying on the false verification document Dory had submitted, Dory was approved to join the Program. Dory participated in the Program during the Fall 2013 and Spring 2014 semesters, for which the University of Maryland applied $40,490.30 of NSF grant funds to Dory’s student account to pay for tuition, fees and stipends. These NSF grant funds were not available to other potential program applicants who had not submitted false documentation.
During the summer of 2014, University of Maryland officials investigated Dory’s application. Dory’s participation in the Program was terminated in August 2014 upon discovery of the false documentation. The University of Maryland credited the grant funds back to the NSF and suffered the loss for payment to Dory of $40,490.30.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the National Science Foundation - OIG for its work in the investigation and thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph R. Baldwin and David I. Salem, who prosecuted the case.