Fairfax County Public Schools has agreed to pay $1 million to the federal government after an employee falsified signatures on a grant application more than a decade ago.
The repayment comes as part of an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice, and the funds will be repaid to the U.S. Department of Education.
The grant application, filed in 2000, was to fund the Gear-Up program at Glasgow Middle School, a program to encourage at-risk students to prepare for college. FCPS later discovered that signatures and other information on the application had been falsified, according to the school district. It subsequently terminated the grant, stopped making claims for grant payments and self-reported the falsification to the Department of Education in 2004.
All funds received by the grant were spent on student programs at Glasgow.
The federal government claimed that FCPS was potentially liable for multi-million dollar repayments and penalties under the False Claims Act, according to the school district. After more than eight years of discussion, the Department of Justice and FCPS reached a settlement.
The school district claims it has since strengthened its grant control procedures. The individual who was responsible for the grant application is no longer employed by the district.