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Press Release

Research Scientist Charged with Making False Statements in Connection with NIH Grants

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of New York

ALBANY, NEW YORK – Gerwin Schalk, age 48, of Albany, and formerly of Glenmont, New York, appeared today in federal court on a complaint charging him with making false statements on conflict of interest certifications he submitted in connection with National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants.

The announcement was made by United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith; New York State Inspector General Letizia Tagliafierro; and Scott J. Lampert, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General’s New York Region.

Schalk is a research scientist employed by the New York State Department of Health (DOH) in Albany, and is the deputy director of the National Center for Adaptive Neurotechnologies.

In connection with applying for and receiving federal research grants, Schalk was required to disclose any financial conflicts of interests to DOH and its affiliate, Health Research, Inc. (“HRI”), or certify that no conflicts existed.  (Neither DOH nor HRI is suspected of wrongdoing.)

The complaint alleges that Schalk knowingly and repeatedly lied about, and failed to disclose, payments he was receiving from Company A, whose products Schalk regularly purchased and used in connection with his research.  According to the complaint (copy attached), Company A has paid at least $69,856 to Schalk, from July 2013 to April 10, 2019.  Additionally, in July 2017, Company A purchased a car that Schalk registered in his name. 

Company A billed HRI approximately $260,000 for sales of neurotechnology equipment to HRI, from 2012 through January 23, 2018; Company A was principally paid from federal grant money. 

The charges in the complaint are merely accusations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Schalk appeared today before United States Magistrate Judge Daniel J. Stewart, and was released pending further proceedings.

If convicted, Schalk faces up to 5 years in prison on each false statement charge, up to 3 years of post-imprisonment supervised release, and a maximum $250,000 fine.  A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other factors.

This case is being investigated by the New York State Inspector General’s Office and the DHHS Office of Inspector General, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Barnett.


Updated August 16, 2019