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Not a Dime Again

The US Office of Research Integrity has banned Erin Potts-Kant, a former Duke University biologist, from ever receiving federal funding, Retraction Watch reports.

Potts-Kant was arrested on embezzlement charges in 2013, and a subsequent whistleblower suit accused her and a colleague of using falsified data to secure more than 60 grants worth about $200 million. Earlier this year, Duke agreed to pay a $112.5 million settlement to the federal government. Retraction Watch notes that almost $34 million of that settlement is to go to the whistleblower, Joseph Thomas, a former researcher at Duke.

It further reports that ORI has taken the uncommon step to permanently ban Potts-Kant from receiving federal funding. This comes after an ORI investigation found she used fabricated data in 117 figures and two tables in 39 published papers and five other research reports. According to ORI, Potts-Kant has agreed to "exclude herself permanently from any contracting or subcontracting with any agency of the United States Government."

A Department of Health and Human Service spokesperson tells Retraction Watch that only three other people have received such a permanent ban.