WASHINGTON ( Associated Press) — Federal prosecutors are recommending dropping charges against a Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor who was indicted last year A person familiar with the decision said on Friday that he hid the work he had done for the Chinese government while collecting US dollars for his nanotechnology research.
A decision in Gang Chen’s case is expected to be finalized by the Justice Department in the coming weeks, according to the person, who was not authorized to discuss the ongoing case and spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity. Was.
The move comes as the Justice Department nears the completion of an internal review of the investigation and prosecution of university professors in the United States accused of concealing their ties to China. Those investigations are part of the China Initiative, a Justice Department effort launched during the Trump administration to crack down on Chinese economic espionage and trade secret theft. Critics of the effort have called on the Justice Department to end its search for Chinese academics.
At the time of his January 2021 arrest, prosecutors accused Chen of working for MIT and of entering into appointments with Chinese entities, including as a “foreign expert” for the Chinese government at the request of the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China. included working as Office in New York.
Prosecutors allege that Chen failed to disclose his ties to China, as required on federal grant applications. Defense lawyers have said that he is acquitted of the charges and there is no material lapse in the applications.
Prosecutors in Boston have moved to drop the case after new information emerged, including an interview with a high-level Energy Department official, according to a person familiar with the matter. The decision was reported by The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post on Friday.
Two of Chen’s attorneys, Robert Fisher and Brian Kelly, declined to comment on Friday.
Despite the conviction of a Harvard University professor last month After allegations that he hid his ties to a Chinese-run recruitment program, other high-profile cases fizzled out.
For example, in September a federal judge dismissed all charges. A University of Tennessee professor was accused of concealing his ties with a Chinese university while receiving a research grant from NASA, and the university has since offered to reinstate him.
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