Harvard Prof Convicted of Lying About China Ties

Harvard chemistry chair brought bags of Chinese cash into US

Harvard professor Charles Lieber in 2012 / Getty Images
December 22, 2021

A federal jury on Tuesday convicted a Harvard University professor of lying to the U.S. government about payments he received from a Chinese university.

Charles Lieber, the former chairman of Harvard's chemistry department, in 2011 agreed to establish a research lab at the Wuhan University of Technology in exchange for more than $1.5 million and a salary of up to $50,000 a month. Lieber did not disclose those payments to the government, as he was required to do as a recipient of federal grants, and in 2018 lied to federal authorities about them after the Trump administration cracked down on Chinese infiltration of academia.

The federal jury also convicted Lieber of filing false tax returns, because he did not report the payments to the IRS. The renowned chemist and nanoscientist brought bags of cash into the United States from China and opened a Chinese bank account to receive payments.

Lieber was affiliated with China's Thousand Talents Program, a Communist Party-led initiative that the regime uses to obtain Western research and technology. The Justice Department under the Trump administration charged and convicted several U.S. scientists who concealed their participation in the program.

Lieber could face up to 13 years in prison.

Published under: Campus , China , Harvard