Harvard Professor Found Guilty Of Lying About Ties To China

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BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio)— A former Harvard University professor was found guilty by a federal jury Tuesday of lying about his ties to China and hiding funds he received from those connections.

Dr. Charles Lieber, 62, the former Chair of Harvard University’s Chemistry and Chemical Biology Department, was found guilty of lying to federal authorities about his connections to the People’s Republic of China’s Thousand Talents Program and the Wuhan University of Technology.

Lieber was also found guilty about hiding income he received from his participation in these programs on his tax returns. He was convicted on two counts of making false statements to federal authorities, two counts of making false tax returns, and two counts of failing to report foreign bank accounts after a six-day trial.

While serving as the Principal Investigator of the Lieber Research Group at Harvard University, Lieber, without telling his employer, became a “Strategic Scientist” with the Wuhan University of Technology. He then also got contracted by China's Thousand Talents Program from at least 2012 to 2015.

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This program is an effort by the Chinese Government to help recruit top scientific minds to come work for the country. Under his contract, the Wuhan University of Technology paid him $50,000 per month, covered living expenses up to $150,000, and awarded him $1.5 million to establish a research lab at the university.

Lieber then lied to federal authorities in 2018 and 2019 about his ties to these programs. He also failed to disclose his income from the programs on his federal income tax returns and failed to report a bank account he opened in China in 2012 to the IRS.

For making false statements, he faces up to five years in prison. As for failing to disclose his income from the programs and his bank account, he faces three and five years in prison respectively.

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