A Boston federal court on Tuesday found Charles Lieber, a prominent Harvard chemistry professor, guilty of concealing to authorities his links to a Chinese program the United States suspects of economic espionage.
A federal prosecutor said the 62-year-old professor, former head of the chemistry department at the prestigious American university, “lied to federal investigators and to Harvard in an effort to conceal his participation in the Chinese 1000 Got Talent program.” Statement by the US Department of Justice that filed the case.
The ministry explained in June 2020, while indicting the professor, that this program “seeks to attract foreign (experts) to bring their knowledge and expertise to China, often rewarding certain members for intellectual property theft.”
According to the claim, the nanotechnologist was also paid “up to $50,000 per month” for three years by the Institute of Technology in Wuhan, China, plus annual fees of $150,000 and $1.5 million to set up the lab there.
“Mr. Lieber took advantage of the openness and transparency of our academic system,” lamented the US Federal Police, the FBI, who arrested him in 2020.
After a six-day trial, he was found guilty of lying to federal authorities, failing to report certain income and failing to report an offshore bank account, according to a court document.
WIT’s income was not reported to US tax authorities in 2013 and 2014.
His conviction will be known later, but he faces the risk of several years in prison.
Under the Trump administration, the US Department of Justice has stepped up investigations into possible acts of economic espionage by China, the United States’ main economic adversary.
Charles Lieber is the most famous scientist involved in this investigation, although he is not directly accused of economic espionage.
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