Illinois college professor indicted for secretly working on behalf of Chinese government

by Peter Heck · Apr 23rd, 2021 10:15 am

Last Updated Apr 24th, 2021 at 7:06 pm

A Chinese-born professor teaching mathematics at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, has been indicted by the Justice Department for wire fraud and false statements tied to his work at a Chinese-affiliated university. The 59-year-old professor concealed those ties while applying for grants from the U.S. government.

Mingqing Xiao stands accused of receiving support from the Chinese government and not disclosing that, allowing him to collect large amounts of U.S. grant money from the National Science Foundation.

"Again, an American professor stands accused of enabling the Chinese government's efforts to corruptly benefit from U.S. research funding by lying about his obligations to, and support from, an arm of the Chinese government and a Chinese public university," Assistant Attorney General John Demers said in announcing the charges.

In a November 2020 statement, the Justice Department acknowledged having brought fraud, false statement, tax, and smuggling charges against 10 individuals working in academia, all of which were committing their crimes at the behest of the Chinese government.

Southern Illinois University Carbondale announced that as a result of the indictment, Xiao will be placed on administrative leave until the school completes its own investigation.


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