<p>Eric Poehlman</p>

Eric Poehlman, a well-known obesity researcher with more than 200 articles to his name, says he fabricated data in 17 applications for US federal grants and agreed to be barred for life "from seeking or receiving funding from any federal agency in the future, including all components of the Public Health Service." According to a plea bargain announced in March in Vermont, Poehlman will plead guilty to making material false statements in a 1999 grant application worth $542,000 from the US National Institutes of Health.

In an unusual step for scientist investigations, he is charged with fraud, to which he agreed to plead guilty. The researcher could go to jail for up to 5 years, or it is possible he will serve little or no jail time. Stephen Kelly, a prosecutor in the US Attorney's office in Vermont, says that his office's policy has been to ensure "that...

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