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University of Virginia to pay $1 million in settlement with U.S. government

Authorities said Tuesday that the University of Virginia has agreed to pay $1 million to settle claims that it did not properly account for some rebates and credits it received on purchases made in connection with federal grants and awards.

According to a statement from the U.S. attorney’s office, universities can spend money from federal awards to buy materials for use in meeting the obligations of the award.

Details were not initially available Tuesday, but the settlement states that some rebates and discounts obtained on purchases by the university from 2009 to 2017 were not accounted for in reducing charges against awarded funds.

Federal regulations require 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.”

“The United States … contends that rebates and discounts obtained on certain purchases by UVa during the 2009 to 2017 time frame were not accounted for in reducing charges against Federal Award funding,” states the settlement.

UVa spokesman Brian Coy said the university was 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.”

Authorities said that the civil claims settled by the agreement are allegations only and there has been no determination of civil liability.

The resolutions were reached through 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; Department of Education; Department of Commerce; and the Department of Energy, said the U.S. attorney’s office.

The matter was investigated Gerard Mene and Kristin Starr, assistant U.S. attorneys.


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