This is another sad story out of higher education. The scenario, unfortunately, seems to be becoming more common. The push to publish prestigious research causing researchers to cut corners or forge data or fraudulently manipulate it to cover for lack of productivity or lack of good ideas, with millions of dollars in funding on the line, lead to the stonewalling by the institutions involved and the firing of whistle-blowers. In the meantime, the fraudulent research is not corrected and many more hours are wasted pursuing dead-ends that others knew were wrong.
Academic fraud leaves a trail of broken lives in its wake. It used to be that this was the only sort of crime that was punishable in academia. Now, they just punish those who would point out the corruption.