University of Houston professors accused of lying to get grants

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

HOUSTON, TX – Sounds like two physics professors at the University of Houston might have really flunked things up.

In a 29 count federal indictment, Abdelhak Bensaoula and David Starikov are accused of lying and wire fraud to get more than one-million dollars in research grants.

The bad apples turned themselves in to federal authorities.

Now, the two face one count of conspiracy, seven counts of making false statements and 21 counts of wire fraud.

According to the indictment, both men allegedly started a small business together and from 2008 through 2013, used it to land over $1.3 million in grants from NASA, The National Science Foundation, Department of Energy and U.S. Air Force.

If convicted, both face up to five-years in prison as well as another five years upon each conviction of making false statements. Yikes.

As for the wire fraud charges, the men face up to 20 years for each conviction.

University of Houston released this statement:

“The university is aware of the allegations in the indictment against two professors and has cooperated fully with the U.S. attorney’s office throughout this investigation, and will continue to do so.”

They went on to say:

“If the allegations are proven to be true, the university also has suffered fraud and has been victimized in this incident.”


Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.