“#Harvard chairman indicted for lying about $1.5M Chinese research scheme”
June 10, 2020 | 10:13am
Charles Lieber was indicted by a federal grand jury on two counts of making false statements about his association with Wuhan University of Technology, where he became a “Strategic Scientist” in 2011, while his Lieber Research Group received $15 million in grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Defense Department, the Justice Department press release issued Tuesday says.
The grants require the disclosure of all sources of financial support, potential financial conflicts of interest and collaboration with foreign entities.
Lieber, the documents allege, became involved between 2012 and 2015 in China’s “Thousand Talents Plan” that seeks to “lure Chinese overseas talent and foreign experts to bring their knowledge and experience in China, and they often reward individuals for stealing proprietary information.”
The Ivy League professor received a salary of up to $50,000 US each month, living expenses of roughly $158,000 US and was awarded $1.5 million US to establish a research lab at Wuhan university.
Lieber lied to federal authorities in 2018 and 2019 about his involvement with the “Thousand Talents Plan” and his link to the university.
Marc Mukasey, Lieber’s lawyer, said the “government has this wrong.”
“Professor Lieber has dedicated his life to science and to his students. Not money, not fame, just his science and his students. He is the victim in this case, not the perpetrator. But he’s also a fighter — he always has been — so we’re not taking this lying down. We’re fighting back. And when justice is done, Charlie’s good name will be restored and the scientific community again will be able to benefit from his intellect and passion,” Mukasey told Politico.
Lieber, 61, was charged in a criminal complaint in January 2020.
The months-long delay in getting an indictment was because of the coronavirus pandemic.
He will be arraigned in federal court in Boston at a later date.
Lieber faces a sentence of up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000 if convicted.
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