Cheat sheet: MIT professor charged with hiding work for China

MIT professor Gang Chen didn’t disclose his connections to China as is required on federal grant functions, US authorities mentioned.

A Massachusetts Institute of Know-how (MIT) professor was arrested and charged Thursday with hiding work he did for the Chinese language authorities whereas he was additionally receiving United States {dollars} for his nanotechnology analysis.

Gang Chen, 56, was arrested by federal brokers at his residence in Cambridge, Massachusetts on expenses together with wire fraud, officers mentioned. Brokers executed search warrants at his residence and his workplace on the college, mentioned Joseph Bonavolonta, head of the Boston FBI workplace.

Whereas working for MIT, Chen entered into undisclosed contracts and held appointments affiliated with the Folks’s Republic of China (PRC), together with as an “abroad knowledgeable” for the Chinese language authorities on the request of the PRC Consulate Workplace in New York, authorities mentioned. A lot of these roles have been “expressly supposed to additional the PRC’s scientific and technological objectives”, mentioned authorities in courtroom paperwork.

Chen didn’t disclose his connections to China as is required on federal grant functions, authorities mentioned. He and his analysis group collected about $29m in overseas {dollars}, together with thousands and thousands from a Chinese language government-funded public analysis college, whereas getting $19m in grants from US federal companies for his work at MIT since 2013, authorities mentioned.

“It isn’t unlawful to collaborate with overseas researchers. It’s unlawful to lie about it,” Massachusetts US Legal professional Andrew Lelling informed reporters.

An e mail searching for remark was despatched to Chen’s legal professional.

MIT mentioned it’s “deeply distressed” by Chen’s arrest.

“MIT believes the integrity of analysis is a elementary accountability, and we take significantly issues about improper affect in U.S. analysis. Prof. Chen is a long-serving and extremely revered member of the analysis neighborhood, which makes the federal government’s allegations towards him all of the extra distressing,” the college mentioned in a press release.

Chen’s arrest comes practically a yr after federal authorities arrested one other nanotechnology knowledgeable at a prestigious college within the Boston space. Harvard College professor Charles Lieber was charged final January with mendacity about his ties to China’s Thousand Abilities Plan, a programme designed to lure individuals with information of overseas know-how and mental property to China.

Lieber’s legal professional has denied the allegations, calling the professor the “sufferer on this case, not the perpetrator”.

The circumstances are a part of a sample of prosecutions by the US Division of Justice towards researchers at US universities who’re accused of concealing their skilled relationships with Chinese language establishments. Dozens of teachers working within the US have been charged in circumstances that always accuse them of failing to reveal analysis grants they’d obtained from universities in China.

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