A professor and researcher at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) was arrested by the FBI officials in Massachusetts on Thursday for failing to disclose his close ties with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) when seeking federal grant money.
According to the reports, the 56-year-old nanotechnology scientist Gang Chen was charged by criminal complaint with wire fraud and failing to file a foreign bank account report (FBAR). The authorities have accused him of hiding details about his contracts, appointments and awards from various entities in China to the US Department of Energy. Prof Chan is also accused of making a false statement in a tax return.
The prosecutors said Chen was involved in various efforts to promote China’s technological and scientific development, including acting as an “overseas expert” for the Chinese government at the request of its New York consulate.
As per reports, Chen failed to disclose his foreign bank accounts and did not mention his links with China while taking US government grants from the Department of Energy.
@MIT Prof. Gang Chen is also accused of accepting approx. $29M in foreign funding, primarily from entities tied to the People’s Republic of China. As alleged, he also received at least $355K through a variety of Chinese talent plans he never disclosed to @MIT or the federal govt.— FBI Boston (@FBIBoston) January 14, 2021
The press release issued by the District of Massachusetts stated that Chen is a naturalized US citizen who was born in China. At the time of his arrest, Chen was a professor and researcher at MIT where he served as Director of the MIT Pappalardo Micro/Nano Engineering Laboratory and Director of the Solid-State Solar Thermal Energy Conversion Center (S3TEC). Chen’s research at MIT has been funded by more than $19 million in grants awarded by various US federal agencies.
Since 2012, Chen has allegedly held various appointments with the PRC designed to promote the PRC’s technological and scientific development by providing advice and expertise, sometimes directly to Chinese government officials and received financial compensation in exchange. Chen acted as an “overseas expert” for the Chinese government at the request of the Chinese Consulate Office in New York and serving as a member of at least two PRC Talent Programs.
As per the FBI, from 2013, Chen allegedly received approximately $29 million of foreign funding, including $19 million from the PRC’s Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech). It is further alleged that Chen’s efforts to promote the PRC’s scientific and economic development were partially detailed in a February 2016 email that Chen sent himself using his MIT e-mail account.
Following his arrest, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has executed search warrants at his home in Cambridge and office at MIT. According to the US laws, Chen could end up in prison for up to 20 years and a fine of up to $250,000 if charges are proved.
Chen was later released on bail. In a statement, MIT claimed that it was “deeply distressed” by the arrest. Meanwhile, Chen’s attorney, Robert Fisher, said the 56-year-old “loves the United States and looks forward to vigorously defending these allegations.”
Chinese infiltration into US universities, allegation of CPC spy ring
Earlier in December, shocking revelations had come forth regarding the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)’s massive funding into US universities and its research programme. We had reported in detail about how the Chinese Communist Party not only spends a lot of money on gifts to researches in US universities but also about how it ran a spy ring inside the United States.
Shockingly, the Chinese have infiltrated into the top US universities, such as Princeton and Harvard in the US and have been successful in not only stealing strategic research documents but also employing researches in these universities as Chinese spies. The Communist Party of China under the leadership of Ji Xinping has pumped a lot of money into universities, especially Harvard and Yale, reports have claimed.
It is estimated that the total tally of gifts and contracts from China to US universities since the start of 2013 is around $1 billion. Nearly 115 colleges received monetary gifts, contracts or both from sources in mainland China from 2013 to 2019, according to US government data.
China funds massive amount on US universities
Most suspect that China was investing billions of dollars into university after fully realising the need for trapping the world’s most brilliant minds who teach at these universities. The China has successfully established a spy ring at top US universities, including Harvard and other Boston universities.
Reportedly, the Chinese military sends its spies disguised as students, who are specifically trained to steal intellectual property and research documents from the university labs and send it back to China.
Addition to that, a leak from the CCP records had revealed that the Chinse government through a recruitment agency carried out a well-coordinated infiltration by getting its members employed in senior, specialist and advisory positions in consulates of countries such as India, UK, USA and Australia.
The leak had suggested that CCP has infiltrated the consulates of a few countries in Shanghai through a government-run recruitment agency. Through a well-coordinated effort, advisers were placed in western countries for over a decade. At least 10 consulates in Shanghai employed CCP members as senior political and government affairs specialists, clerks, economic advisers and executive assistants.