SoCal Pharma Firm Whacked for $2 Million

SAN DIEGO (CN) – San Diego-based Ansun Biopharma will pay $2.1 million to settle civil and criminal complaints about submitting false claims on federal grants and a contract.
     Ansun Biopharma, formerly known as NexBio, received two grants and a $50 million federal contract to try to develop an antiviral drug to treat influenza, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said Wednesday.
     Ansun’s former CEO Mang Yu ordered its vice president Dongmei Wang to fabricate timesheets to milk the contracts from the National Institutes of Health and the $50 million NIH contract, the U.S. attorney said in a statement.
     For instance, “Yu told Wang to extend the funding available on the NIH grants for as long as possible because he needed access to the money from the grants to manage cash flow problems at the company,” according to the U.S. attorney.
     Under a criminal information filed Wednesday, Ansun agreed to repay the NIH $1.65 million, and to pay the United States $495,000 to settle civil allegations of false claims.
     Wang, 49, of San Diego, pleaded guilty to defrauding the United States, a charge that was dismissed after he complied with terms of a deferred prosecution agreement.
     Yu, 58, of Rancho Santa Fe, pleaded guilty to interfering with federal officers and was sentenced to 1 year of probation, in August 2014.

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