MIT professor charged with hiding work for China – Times of India


BOSTON: A Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor was charged Thursday with hiding work he did for the Chinese authorities whereas he was additionally gathering US {dollars} for his nanotechnology analysis.
Gang Chen, 56, was arrested by federal brokers at his dwelling in Cambridge on costs together with wire fraud, officers mentioned.
While working for MIT, Chen entered into undisclosed contracts and held appointments with Chinese entities, together with appearing as an “overseas expert” for the Chinese authorities on the request of the People’s Republic of China Consulate Office in New York, authorities mentioned. Many of these roles have been “expressly intended to further the PRC’s scientific and technological goals,” authorities mentioned in court docket paperwork.
Chen didn’t disclose his connections to China, as is required on federal grant purposes, authorities mentioned. He and his analysis group collected about $29 million in international {dollars}, together with thousands and thousands from a Chinese authorities funded college funded, whereas getting USD 19 million in grants from U.S federal companies for his work at MIT since 2013, authorities mentioned “It is not illegal to collaborate with foreign researchers.
It is illegal to lie about it,” Massachusetts U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling told reporters.
Chen’s attorney said the professor “loves the United States and looks forward to vigorously defending these allegations.” “Since Gang moved to this nation over 30 years in the past, his life has been the epitome of the American dream. He has devoted his life to scientific development in mechanical engineering,” attorney Rob Fisher said in an email.
Gang was ordered released from custody during a hearing held via videoconference before a Boston federal court judge. Hours earlier, agents executed search warrants at his home and his office at the university, said Joseph Bonavolonta, head of the Boston FBI office.
MIT said it is “deeply distressed” by Chen’s arrest.
“MIT believes the integrity of analysis is a elementary duty, 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 professional at a prestigious college within the Boston space. Harvard Professor Charles Lieber was charged final January with mendacity about his ties to China’s Thousand Talents Plan, a program designed to lure individuals with data of international know-how and mental property to China.
Lieber’s lawyer has denied the allegations, calling the professor the “victim in this case, not the perpetrator.” The instances are a part of a sample of Justice Department prosecutions towards researchers at American universities who’re accused of concealing their skilled relationships with Chinese establishments. Dozens of teachers working within the U.S. have been charged in instances that usually accuse them of failing to reveal analysis grants that they had acquired from universities in China.
Earlier this month, a number of teams together with Asian Americans Advancing Justice despatched a letter to Democratic President-elect Joe Biden urging him to finish the DOJ’s so-called “China Initiative.” The teams mentioned the initiative has “greatly increased the targeting and profiling of Asian Americans and immigrants, particularly those of Chinese descent who are working in science and technology.”



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