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A Kansas investigator convicted of concealing illegal ties with China

An investigator was convicted on Thursday of illegally concealing work he did for China while working at the University of Kansas.

But U.S. District Court Judge Julie Robinson continues to weigh in on a defense proposal to dismiss the case against Feng “Franklin” Tao of Lawrence, Kansas. On Monday, Robinson asked the lawyers to present their arguments in writing and continue the trial while she considers the case.

Judges found him guilty of three counts of embezzlement and one false statement for failing to disclose on conflict-of-interest forms that he had been named in a Chinese talent program, the Changjiang professorship, in grant applications. As part of that plan, he traveled to China to set up a laboratory and hire staff for Fuzhou University, and told the University of Kansas that he was in Germany instead.

Prosecutor Adam Barry described it as a “false lie” to betray the university, the US Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation.

But defense attorney Peter Zeidenberg claimed that Tao was only “moonlight” and emphasized throughout the trial that Tao was still such a prolific scientist that the University of Kansas honored him in April 2019 – just months before his arrest. He asserted that his confession had been obtained through torture, and that his confession had been obtained through torture and that his confession had been obtained through torture.

Zeidenberg also pointed out that Tao had listed his relationship with both schools in some papers and indicated that he was not hiding it.

The case against Tao was part of what the Ministry of Justice called China’s initiative, a campaign launched in 2018 to combat the theft of trade secrets and economic intelligence. The league in February ended the initiative following public criticism and unsuccessful prosecutions, although officials say they are still pursuing the threat from China.

Tao, who was born in China and moved to the United States in 2002, joined the University of Kansas Center for Environmentally Beneficial Catalysis in August 2014, which conducts research into sustainable technologies to protect natural resources and energy.

As Robinson is still awaiting a written argument, no date has been set for the trial. Tao faces up to 20 years in prison in the federal state and a fine of up to 250,000 dollars for wire fraud, the Ministry of Justice said in a press release.

“While we are very disappointed with the verdict, we believe it was so blatantly against the weight of the evidence that we are convinced it will not stand,” Zeidenberg said, noting that all of the organizations listed as victims were “perfect”. happy. with the work of Dr. Tao worked on their strengths. ”

A Kansas investigator convicted of concealing illegal ties with China

Source link A Kansas investigator convicted of concealing illegal ties with China

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