Penn State

Ex-Penn State professor sentenced on research grant fraud counts

A former Penn State engineering professor will spend more than three years in prison for defrauding federal agencies of $3 million in research grant money.

Craig Grimes, 56, formerly of Boalsburg and now of Raleigh, N.C., was sentenced in Harrisburg on Friday by federal Judge Yvette Kane. Grimes was ordered by pay $640,660.37 in restitution on top of the sentence of 41 months behind bars.

Grimes pleaded guilty in February to defrauding the National Institutes of Health, making false statements to the U.S. Department of Energy and laundering money he received from the NIH.

Grimes, who was at Penn State from July 1, 2001, to Dec. 31, 2010, was a professor of electrical engineering and ran the company Sentech Biomed.

Prosecutors said Grimes got a $1.2 million grant from the NIH for medical research through his company. Between June 2006 and February 2011, Grimes was to study gases in patients’ blood that could help detect the presence of a disease in infants.

Prosecutors allege Grimes promised to use about $509,000 for research at Penn State’s Hershey Medical Center, but that never happened. Instead, prosecutors said Grimes used the money on himself.

Grimes then laundered some of the money he got from NIH.

In August 2009, Grimes applied for a $1.9 million grant for researching energy-related technologies from the Department of Energy. But, prosecutors said, Grimes but did not disclose that he had received a grant from the National Science Foundation for the same research.

Grimes told the judge who sentenced him Friday to 41 months that he was zealous in wanting to help the world.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Terz said Grimes “is not a mad scientist. He’s a dishonest scientist.”