A year later, Chen was arrested on suspicion of embezzling federal grants and publicly suing U.S. Was accused of being unfaithful – an allegation usually made in espionage cases, not a grant fraud, as Chen’s defense team noted in an attempt to formally approve the U.S. Attorney’s Office. For the statement. Chen was eventually charged with three counts of wire fraud, making false statements and failing to file a report on a foreign bank account.
But the key issue in the case was whether the nanotechnologist announced contracts, appointments and awards from organizations in the People’s Republic of China, including the Chinese Talent Program and more than $ 19 million in funding from the Chinese government, while receiving federal grant funding. Department of Energy.
That question became less important when an Energy Department official confirmed the grant requirements in 2017, when Chen submitted His application did not stipulate that he would publish the posts in China, but the grant would not affect his grant, as the Wall Street Journal first reported.
The કેન્દ્ર 25 million at the center of the fraud was intended for MIT to personally support a new collaborative research center at China’s Southern University of Science and Technology instead of Chen. “While Professor Chen is the inaugural MIT faculty director, this is not a personal collaboration; It’s a division, backed by the organization, “MIT President Rafael Reef explained in a letter to the MIT community last year.
As one of the foremost scientists charged under the initiative, Chen’s case received widespread attention. MIT faculty members wrote an open letter in support of the scholar that also reflects the wider concerns of the academic community about the criminalization of standard educational activity. “In many respects, the complaint against the gang chain is a complaint against all of us, an insult to any citizen who values science and scientific adventure,” he wrote.
Although all of Chen’s allegations are certain to be dismissed, six more research integrity cases remain. Four are scheduled to go on trial later this spring. Meanwhile, a growing number of different groups are demanding from scientific organizations, civil rights organizations, legislators and former officials involved in shaping the program to either end the program or at least target academics.
Department of Justice Hornbuckle said the Justice Department is “reviewing our approach to tackling the risks posed by the PRC government.” MIT Technology Review In email. “We look forward to completing the review next week and providing additional information.” He sent questions about Chen’s case to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boston, which has not yet responded to a request for comment.
Meanwhile, on January 4, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy released updated guidance on strengthening the defense for American research and development against foreign interference, including additional details on disclosure requirements for key investigators.
For Chen, “he is eager to resolve the criminal case as soon as possible,” his attorney, Robert Fisher, told the MIT Technology Review.
Additional reporting by Jess Alo.