Saturday, February 20, 2010

FBI raids California university

The FBI and California investigators raided the administrative offices of Sonoma State University yesterday morning to probe the possible misappropriation of federal grant money by a former university office, reports The Press Democrat.
“The investigation is focused on 20 grants originally awarded and administered by the California Institute of Human Services,” university president Ruben Arminaña says in a campus alert. “The University welcomes the investigation and is working in full cooperation with the task force.”
Founded in 1979, the institute tried to “to redress the lives of people suffering from domestic violence, individuals living with disabilities or facing debilitating economic disadvantage, immigrant populations who struggle against language barriers.” It was closed in 2007 and allegations made then included hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on unapproved labor costs, improper payments to administrators, and expenses that were improperly billed. A 2007 state audit said the institute piled up more than $2 million in questionable expenses.
“Tens of millions of federal funds are involved here and it will take a long time to unravel the voluminous number of documents involved,” Sonoma County District Attorney Stephan Passalacqua told The Press Democrat.

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