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Posted: August 6, 2011 11:01 a.m.

Morehouse to pay $1.2 million after federal probe

ATLANTA - Morehouse College in Atlanta has agreed to pay $1.2 million to end a federal investigation into what officials call the misuse of funds intended to promote scientific study, the U.S. Department of Justice announced late Friday.

At issue are funds provided by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Science Foundation to help Morehouse students enroll in scientific fields of study.

Morehouse cooperated with the investigation, and worked with the U.S. Attorney's Office, NASA and the NSF to resolve problems with the federal grant funding, U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said.

The settlement "addresses an egregious misuse of public funds," NASA Inspector General Paul K. Martin said in a statement.

Prosecutors said a former Morehouse employee had used some funds for purposes not permitted by the grants, but Friday's announcement of the settlement did not reveal details of the case.

As part of the agreement, Morehouse also agreed to implement a compliance program designed to make sure that federal funds are managed properly in the future.

The college's president will be required to appoint a senior-level administrator to oversee compliance with federal regulations for spending funds from NASA and NSF, prosecutors said. The agreement also calls for independent audits examining such spending by Morehouse for the next five years; and annual reports to NASA and NSF.

A Morehouse College spokesperson could not immediately be reached for comment late Friday. 

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