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Former Stony Brook University Professor Admits To Stealing Cancer Research Funds

Geoffrey Girnun
Geoffrey Girnun Photo Credit: StonyBrook.edu

An ex-professor at Stony Brook University admitted to stealing state and federal funding that was designated for cancer research.

Geoffrey Girnun, a former Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology and Director of Cancer Metabolomics at the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University pleaded guilty to theft of government funds from cancer-related research grants issued by the National Institutes of Health. 

U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue said that between December 2013 and December 2017, Girnun stole approximately $78,000 in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funds that had been earmarked for cancer research.

Girnun then used those funds to pay for personal expenses, including payments on his home mortgage. 

“With today’s guilty plea, Girnun has been held accountable for his unconscionable scheme to embezzle for his personal use hundreds of thousands of dollars in government funds that were intended to help find a cure for cancer,” Donoghue said.

As part of his guilty plea, Girnun agreed to pay $225,000 in restitution, which includes the NIH funds and approximately $147,000 from SBU’s foundation and state-sponsored grants.

Following his arrest, Girnun resigned his position at Stony Brook University in December last When he is sentenced, Girnun, 49, of Woodmere, faces up to 10 years in prison, as well as additional restitution, forfeiture, and a fine to be determined. 

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