USC Campus Library

A former USC professor pleaded guilty Wednesday to making a false statement on a research grant application submitted to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Alexander Tartakovsky, 59, faces up to five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine when he is sentenced Dec. 22 by U.S. District Judge John F. Walter, according to Internal Revenue Service spokeswoman Linda Lowery.

In addition, Tartakovsky may be ordered to pay restitution of about $100,000.

According to his plea deal, Tartakovsky was employed full-time at USC as a research professor from 1998 through 2012, with his salary being paid primarily by grants from the government. In 2006, Tartakovsky and his wife formed Argo Science Corp.

In June 2009, Tartakovksy signed a Small Business Innovation and Research application for nearly $100,000, according to the document.

On the application, Tartakovsky, who now lives in Somers, Conn., falsely stated that his primary employment would be with Argo at the time of the award, even though his primary employer was USC.

The Energy Department ultimately awarded a research grant to Argo for the project and paid Argo.

Tartakovsky’s false statement regarding his primary employment was material, because the government would not have awarded the grant if it had known that the defendant’s primary employment was not with Argo, according to federal prosecutors.

City News Service

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.