Diederik Stapel faces criminal inquiry for misuse of funds
The Dutch media are reporting that Diederik Stapel, the Tilburg University social psychologist who fabricated data in dozens of studies, is facing a criminal probe for his misuse of some 2.2 million euros (roughly $2.8 million U.S.) in government grant funding.
Investigators have last month the laptop, the mobile phone and the financial administration of [Stapel] seized. These records are currently screened. “The coming period will also have several witnesses be heard,” said a spokesman for the [public prosecutor].
Stapel is suspected of having applied for government grants using imaginary data, according to the report. Investigators also are exploring whether he
is guilty of forgery by using forged datasets for research and in the written account of research grants.
Should Stapel be convicted and jailed, he would join a pretty exclusive club. To our knowledge, only Eric Poehlman and anesthesiologist Scott Reuben have served time for offenses involving fabrication of data. In Reuben’s case, he spent six months in federal prison on charges of health care fraud.
To date, journals have retracted 25 of Stapel’s published papers (by our count).