Harvard professor convicted of lying about Chinese government links

By Paul LeBlanc, CNN

A Harvard University professor was convicted on Tuesday by a federal jury of lying to the United States about his involvement with the Chinese government, announced the Ministry of Justice.

Dr Charles Lieber, 62, former chairman of Harvard’s Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, has been convicted of two counts of misrepresentation to federal authorities, two counts of manufacturing and underwriting ‘One false income statement and two counts of failure to file reports on foreign bank and financial accounts 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 requires disclosure of foreign financial conflicts of interest. Jury found Lieber lied about his affiliation with Wuhan University of Technology in China and a contract he had with a plan to recruit Chinese talent to attract top scientists to the country .

He was being paid $ 50,000 a month by the Chinese university and $ 1.5 million to establish a nanoscience research lab at WUT, the Justice Department said in a press release. Lieberman was specifically affiliated with the Chinese Thousand Talent Program, which the department called “one of the most important talent recruitment schemes designed to attract, recruit and cultivate high-level scientific talent to promote scientific development,” China’s economic prosperity 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 hide his participation in the Chinese Thousand Talent Program.”

“He lied to the IRS about the money that was paid to him and he hid his Chinese bank account in the United States. The jury followed the evidence and the law until a fair verdict, ”he continued.

Patrick Hegarty, the special agent in charge of the Northeast Field Office’s Defense Criminal Investigation Department, also said in a statement that Lieber “has eroded the DoD’s confidence in its researchers to give the priority to the United States and its military over foreign governments, and more personal financial gain.

A date for Lieber’s sentencing has not yet been set.

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

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