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NASA researcher took federal funds whereas hiding ties to China, DOJ claims

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August 25, 2020 | 4:35pm

A NASA researcher was charged with taking federal grant cash whereas hiding work with the Chinese language Communist Get together, the Justice Division stated on Monday.

Zhengdong Cheng, who can be a professor at Texas A&M College, was charged with conspiracy, wire fraud and making false statements.

He was arrested Sunday, the Justice Division stated in a press release.

Cheng, 53, saved his hyperlink to Guangdong College of Expertise quiet whereas accepting as much as $750,000 in federal grants.

He was employed by Texas A&M in Could 2014, however starting in 2012 he labored as director of the Gentle Matter Institute of Guangdong College of Expertise, which was established by the Individuals’s Republic of China in 1995.

The FBI additionally stated Cheng took half within the Hundred Skills Plan that was created by Beijing to recruit professors at American universities to steal mental property and hand it over to China.

“Cheng hid his affiliation with China, Chinese language-owned corporations, and Chinese language universities, which, in line with NASA officers, if identified to NASA, would have prohibited him from taking part within the NASA grant and receiving U.S. Authorities funding by way of that grant,” the charging paperwork say.

John Sharp, chancellor of the Texas A&M system, stated the college labored carefully with the FBI.

“Nobody in larger schooling takes safety as significantly as we do at The Texas A&M College System,” Sharp stated in a press release. “In truth, we now have obtained a number of awards from the Division of Protection’s Protection Counterintelligence and Safety Company, together with one simply final month.”

The Justice Division has been cracking down on professors at American faculties who disguise their hyperlinks to the Chinese language authorities.

In January, the chairman of Harvard College’s chemistry division was charged with mendacity to the Division of Protection about his connections to Chinese language analysis businesses whereas taking federal funds.

Charles Lieber was accused of receiving greater than $1.5 million to determine a lab and do analysis at Wuhan College, prosecutors stated.

With Put up wires

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