A former New York University researcher — whose previous psychiatric studies were terminated after an investigation found he falsified records and endangered patients — was charged Tuesday with spending tens of thousands of tax dollars on trips with a ballet dancer and on bar tabs.
Alexander Neumeister, while working for NYU, used funds from the college and from National Institutes of Health to visit the dancer in Salt Lake City and bankrolled her travel to New York to see him at least four times, according to the complaint filed in federal court. Neumeister didn’t need to travel to Salt Lake City for his research.
He also used NYU and NIH money to fund his travel to Chicago to watch the dancer perform in “Sleeping Beauty,” to pay for their trip from New York to Miami and to pay for other expenses, such as bar tabs and lodging , according to the complaint.
Neumeister also bought the dancer lunches and an iPhone and claimed she was a research participant. He also flew his wife to Austria and his wife and kids to Vermont using tax dollars.
The former NYU researcher faces up to 10 years in prison for theft of government funds and a maximum of 20 years for wire fraud.
Neumeister also headed studies at NYU that jeopardized subjects’ safety and had data validity issues, a previous Food and Drug Administration investigation found, STAT reported. He was consequently placed on leave.
“As soon as the potential issues specific to this research were identified and reviewed, findings were shared with the appropriate oversight agencies,” NYU said in a statement to Bloomberg Law. “The researcher is no longer employed at the School of Medicine.”
Neumeister joined Catholic University of Bukavu in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2015, according to his LinkedIn page, STAT reported.
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