Virginia Attorney General pursues fraud charges in climate hoax

May 6, 2010 06:29

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is invoking a state anti-fraud law to demand the University of Virginia turn over years worth of documents related to climate scientist Michael Mann, targeting about $500,000 in grants that funded Mann’s studies.

By: William C. Flook at Washington Examiner

Cuccinelli, a Republican who is separately suing the federal government over regulation of carbon emissions, issued the school a civil subpoena late last month probing “possible violations” of the Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act by the former U.Va. professor. Mann, now a professor at Penn State, is famous for creating the controversial “hockey stick” graph charting a spike in global temperatures.

That law, similar to the Federal False Claims Act, is more commonly used to combat Medicaid fraud, said Zachary Kitts, a Fairfax lawyer and expert on the state law. Cuccinelli, however, has “really sent a message that he’s going to use the statute more than his predecessors,” Kitts said.

The threshold to be sued under Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act is not as high as a fraud case, Kitts said. Essentially, “all you got to do is make a knowingly false statement to get paid with government money,” he said.


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