Harvard Scientist and Two Chinese Nationals Arrested In Research Theft

This intriguing story comes out of Boston and involves an American Harvard professor, a Chinese national research student at Boston University and a Chinese national researcher at Beth Israel Deaconess Center.

CBSN in Boston reports:

Three people tied to universities and a hospital in the Boston area were indicted on charges they lied about their ties to China or tried to help the Chinese government. Among them was Dr. Charles Lieber, the chair of Harvard University’s Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology.

Prosecutors said Lieber had a contract with Wuhan Institute of Technology. He also ran a group that had contracts with the Department of Defense and National Institutes of Health.

Federal agents said Lieber lied about his ties to China when he bid on those contracts.

“It appears China paid Lieber hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years for his involvement with the Chinese entities and for his work on research for Chinese gain,” said U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts Andrew Lelling.

Lieber was arrested at his Harvard University office and then placed on administrative leave. He will not be able to participate in his teaching or research roles, the university said.

A Harvard spokesman issued a statement on Lieber’s arrest:

The charges brought by the U.S. government against Professor Lieber are extremely serious. Harvard is cooperating with federal authorities, including the National Institutes of Health, and is initiating its own review of the alleged misconduct.  Professor Lieber has been placed on indefinite administrative leave.

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