Monday, January 24

Harvard professor found guilty of hiding ties to China

Washington (CNN) — A Harvard University professor was found guilty Tuesday by a federal jury of lying to the United States about his relationship with the Chinese government, the Justice Department announced.

Dr. Charles Lieber, 62, former chairman of Harvard’s Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, was convicted of two counts of making false statements to federal authorities, two counts of filing and submitting a false tax return, and two counts of charges of not filing reports of bank and financial accounts abroad with the Internal Revenue Service.

Lieber’s Harvard research group had received more than $ 15 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense, which require disclosure of financial conflicts of interest abroad. The jury found that Lieber had lied about his affiliation with Wuhan University of Technology in China and about a contract he had with a Chinese talent-seeking scheme to attract top-level scientists to the country.

The Chinese university was paying him $ 50,000 a month and giving him $ 1.5 million to establish a nanoscience research laboratory at WUT, the Justice Department reported in a press release.

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Lieberman was specifically affiliated with the China Thousand Talents Program, which the department called “one of the foremost talent recruitment schemes, designed to attract, recruit and cultivate high-level scientific talent to promote scientific development, prosperity China’s economic and national security “.

Acting US Attorney Nathaniel Mendell said in a statement Tuesday that “there is now no doubt that Charles Lieber lied to federal investigators and Harvard in an attempt to conceal his participation in the China Thousand Talent Program.”
“He lied to the Treasury about the money he was being paid and hid his Chinese bank account from the United States. The jury followed the evidence and the law until reaching a fair verdict,” he continued.

Patrick Hegarty, the special agent in charge of the Defense Criminal Investigation Service’s northeast field office, also said in a statement that Lieber “eroded the confidence the Department of Defense has in its investigators to prioritize the United States. United and their service members above foreign governments, and above personal financial gain. “

The date of Lieber’s sentencing has not yet been set.

CNN’s Evan Pérez, Rob Frehse, Verónica Stracqualursi and Sheena Jones contributed to this report.

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