ATLANTA — A former Georgia Tech professor has pleaded guilty to a scheme to defraud the National Science Foundation (NSF). Maysam Ghovanloo, 46, of Atlanta, has pleaded guilty to violating the federal wire fraud statute while he owned a company called Bionic Sciences Inc. (BSI), and was also a Tech professor.
Ghovanloo and BSI received federal grants through Small Business Innovation Research programs sponsored by NSF. To be eligible for the grants, Ghovanloo and BSI had to meet eligibility requirements and provide only truthful information. Instead, Ghovanloo submitted false information and omissions, followed by electronic payment requests to NSF.
As part of his guilty plea, Ghovanloo paid $40,000 in restitution and was barred from doing business with the federal government for a period of three years. Ghovanloo resigned from his position at Georgia Tech, effective June 21, 2019.
“Federal grants awarded to develop new medical instruments require meticulous and truthful records be kept of how those dollars are applied,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak. “These funds are designed to help bring new innovations to fulfillment, and hopefully also into the medical arena, where they can be used for wellness.”
Sentencing is scheduled for November 5, 2019.