U.S. Attorney's Office
District of South Carolina
(803) 929-3000
December 2, 2015

Former Director at USC Sentenced to Prison for Grant Fraud

COLUMBIA, SC—United States Attorney Bill Nettles stated today that Gail Shurling (62) was sentenced in federal court in Columbia, South Carolina, for wire fraud, a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1343. United States District Judge Mary Geiger Lewis of Columbia sentenced her to 27 months, three years’ supervised release and over $335,000 of restitution.

Shurling, as the Director of the Center for Manufacturing and Technology (CMAT) at the University of South Carolina, committed grant fraud. In her role with CMAT, Shurling submitted fraudulent documentation to obtain federal grant money. As part of the scheme, Shurling approved contracts and payments to shell corporations that were controlled by friends, family members, and herself for work that was not completed. In total, Shurling submitted approximately $336,000 worth of fraudulent documentation to the University, the Government, and to the entity responsible for administrating grant funds.

United States Attorney Bill Nettles stated: “The United States Attorney’s Office, in conjunction with our law enforcement partners, is dedicated to curbing fraud of public funds. We will continue to pursue those who lie, cheat and steal from the public.”

“Today’s sentencing of Ms. Shurling is another instance of those who commit fraud against the government will be ferreted out and prosecuted to the fullest extent of law to protect the taxpayers interest,” said Duane Townsend, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Inspector General.

The case was investigated by agents of the Department of Commerce Office of the Inspector General and FBI. Assistant United States Attorney Jim May of the Columbia office prosecuted the case.

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