The DOE OIG promotes the effective, efficient, and economical operation of DOE’s programs and operations through audits, inspections, investigations, and other reviews.
THE DOE OIG investigates any fraudulent acts involving DOE, its contractors or subcontractors, or any crime affecting the programs, operations, Government funds, or employees of those entities.
Please use the following if you want additional information or want to report wrongdoing:
Fax: (202) 586-5697
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Office of Inspector General
1000 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20585
What types of fraud are found in the SBIR/STTR Programs?
- During Application Process:
- Submitting a plagiarized proposal
- Providing false information regarding the company, the Principal Investigator or work to be performed
- Seeking funding for work that has already been completed
- During Award:
- Using award funds for personal use or for any use other than the proposed activities
- Submitting plagiarized reports or reports falsely claiming work has been completed
- Claiming results for an award that were funded by a different source
Knowing the Rules
Which SBIR rules should you be particularly familiar with?
- Duplicate or overlapping proposals may not be submitted to multiple agencies without full disclosure to all agencies.
- The company must meet SBA’s requirements for a small business, including being
majority American owned and have 500 employees or fewer.
- For SBIR: The Principal Investigator’s primary employment must be with the company
during the grant period and he or she may not be employed full time elsewhere.
- For SBIR: For Phase I, a minimum of two thirds of the research effort must be performed by the grantee company; for Phase II, a minimum of one-half of the research effort must be performed by the grantee company. Work performed by a university research lab is NOT work completed by the grantee company.
- University employees participating on an SBIR award should disclose their involvement to the university as well as their use of university facilities.
- R&D must be performed in the United States.
What happens if you break the rules?
- If you commit fraud or other wrongdoing in applying for or carrying out an
SBIR/STTR award, DOE will investigate.
- DOE refers violations of civil or criminal law to the Department of Justice (DOJ). If DOJ prosecutes you for fraud or false statements, you may be sentenced to prison and required to pay full restitution.
- If DOJ pursues a civil action under the False Claims Act, you may have to pay treble damages and $11,000 for each false claim.
- DOE may terminate your awards and debar you from receiving grants or contracts from any federal agency.
2015 SBIR Fraud Case
Scientists Sentenced To Prison For Defrauding The Small Business Innovation Research Program
Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Virginia Hernandez Covington has sentenced Mahmoud Aldissi (a/k/a Matt) and Anastassia Bogomolova (a/k/a Anastasia) for conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and falsification of records. Aldissi was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison and Bogomolova was sentenced to a term of 13 years. As part of their sentences, the court entered a money judgment in the amount of $10.6 million, representing the proceeds of the crime, and ordered them to pay $10.6 million in restitution. Aldissi and Bogomolova were found guilty on March 20, 2015.
According to testimony and evidence presented during the month-long trial, through their two companies, Fractal Systems, Inc., and Smart Polymers Research Corp., Aldissi and Bogomolova fraudulently obtained approximately $10.5 million of small business research awards from the federal government. In order to be awarded contracts, they submitted proposals using the stolen identities of real people to create false endorsements of and for their proposed contracts. In the proposals, they also lied about their facilities, costs, the principal investigator on some of the contracts, and certifications in the proposals.