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Diederik Stapel Under Investigation by Dutch Prosecutors

Diederik Stapel

Tilburg University

Disgraced Dutch psychologist Diederik Stapel is under investigation by the Dutch Public Prosecution Service and the Fiscal Information and Investigation Service, according to media reports in the Netherlands.

NRC Handelsblad today reports that investigators are trying to establish whether Stapel defrauded the government by collecting grant money for research he did not carry out and made false statements in his accounts of how the money was spent. Last month, detectives confiscated Stapel's laptop, cell phone, and financial records; according to the paper, they will also seek testimony from witnesses in the case.

Stapel resigned in 2011 after an investigation revealed that he made up the results in many of his eye-catching social psychology studies. So far, 25 of his papers have been retracted; a commission is still investigating others. NRC Handelsblad reports that Stapel received €2.2 million in grants from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, but that university funds may be part of the inquiry as well.

The Public Prosecution Service confirmed the investigation to Dutch news service ANP. A decision whether to prosecute Stapel will be made once the investigation is completed, which may take several months.