LOS ANGELES (AP) — A former University of Southern California professor has pleaded guilty to a federal fraud charge of lying on a government research grant application.

The Internal Revenue Service says Alexander Tartakovsky entered a plea Wednesday to one count of making a false statement on documents he submitted to the Energy Department.

The IRS says the 59-year-old was seeking nearly $100,000 on behalf of his company, Argo Science Corp.

On the application he stated that his primary employment would be with Argo at the time of the award, but USC was his main employer. Until 2012, Tartakovsky worked full time at USC.

The Energy Department said it would not have given Tartakovsky the $99,999 grant if they had known Argo was not his primary source of employment.

Sentencing is set for Dec. 22.

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