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updated: 7/30/2013 4:11 PM

Northwestern settles cancer research fraud claim

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Associated Press

Federal prosecutors in Chicago have announced Northwestern University has agreed to pay nearly $3 million to settle a whistle-blower's lawsuit involving alleged cancer research fraud.

The lawsuit claimed the university allowed researcher Dr. Charles L. Bennett to submit false claims under research grants from the National Institutes of Health.

The suit alleges Bennett billed expenses for family trips, meals and hotels for himself and friends. He also billed consulting fees for unqualified friends and relatives, including his brother and cousin, according to the suit.

Bennett is a former researcher and doctor at the university's Lurie Comprehensive Center for Cancer. The allegations arise from a lawsuit filed by a former employee of the cancer center.

The U.S. attorney's office says Northwestern cooperated during the investigation and doesn't admit liability in the settlement.

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