A University of Tennessee-Knoxville associate professor has been arrested and is facing federal charges of hiding his relationship with a Chinese university.
The professor, Anming Hu, faces charges of three counts each of lying to investigators and wire fraud, and if convicted faces up to 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 for each of the wire fraud charges, reports The Hill, quoting a Justice Department press release.
Hu is accused of violating federal law by hiding his relationship with the Beijing University of Technology (BJUT) while working on a NASA project. Federal laws prohibit NASA from providing funding for projects that are done in collaboration with China's government or university system.
"Hu allegedly committed fraud by hiding his relationship with a Chinese university while receiving funding from NASA," Assistant Attorney General John Demers said. "This is just the latest case involving professors or researchers concealing their affiliations with China from their American employers and the U.S. government. We will not tolerate it."
It is not clear what the nature of Hu's project was, or what interest the university in Beijing had in his work.
"The United States Attorney's Office takes seriously fraudulent conduct that is devised to undermine federally-mandated funding restrictions related to China and Chinese universities," added U.S. Attorney J. Douglas Overbey said the press release. "The University of Tennessee has cooperated with the investigation, and the U.S. Attorney's Office values the university’s assistance in this matter."
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