Accused Professor Fights Back: Sues Harvard and Data Colada Alleging Fraud

**High-profile Behavioral Scientist Francesca Gino Sues Harvard and Data Colada for Defamation and Gender Discrimination**

**Accusations of Fraudulent Research and Investigations**

Francesca Gino, a renowned behavioral scientist known for her expertise in dishonesty, is suing Harvard University and online academic watchdog site Data Colada. Gino, who has published two books and is a frequent speaker at corporate events, filed a lawsuit against her employer, Harvard, and Data Colada after they conducted separate investigations into her alleged fraudulent research. Data Colada claimed to have discovered evidence of data forgery in at least four academic papers authored by Gino, while Harvard placed Gino on leave without revealing the findings of its investigation.

**Refuting the Allegations**

Gino’s complaint, which spans 255 pages and was filed at the Massachusetts District Court, asserts her innocence and accuses Harvard and certain professors associated with Data Colada of damaging her reputation and career through false allegations. Gino’s attorney, Andrew T. Miltenberg, criticized Harvard for its “complete and utter disregard for evidence, due process, and confidentiality”, arguing that the university’s review process deprived Gino of her rights, career, and reputation. Miltenberg also emphasized that Harvard’s handling of the case was a clear failure in ensuring gender equity and displayed bias in oversight.

**Allegations Against Harvard Business School Dean and Faulty Investigation**

The lawsuit targets Srikant Datar, the dean of Harvard Business School, alleging that he engaged in backchannel negotiations with Data Colada, leading to the publication of their exposé being postponed until Harvard completed its internal investigation. Gino’s complaint accuses Datar of subjecting her to a harsher investigation than her male colleagues. Furthermore, the complaint argues that the forensics firm, Maidstone Consulting Group, hired by Harvard to investigate Gino, produced faulty reports based on unconfirmed raw data, challenging the validity of the evidence of fraud. Gino claims that all six collaborators and two research assistants interviewed by Harvard’s investigation committee confirmed her account of the research and supported her innocence.

**Legal Action and Compensation**

Francesca Gino is seeking $150 million in damages from the three professors behind Data Colada and over $125 million from Harvard University. The lawsuit claims that Gino’s career and life have been shattered without any concrete evidence of wrongdoing.

**Support from a Fellow Harvard Professor**

Frances Frei, a professor of technology and operations management at Harvard, released a statement expressing support for Gino. Frei expressed shock and concern over the situation, emphasizing the unsettling nature of the case and its potential implications for all researchers and professors, stating, “If this can happen to her, it can happen to anyone.”

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