A Harvard University professor was convicted on Tuesday of U.S. charges that he lied about his ties to a China-run recruitment program in a closely-watched case stemming from a crackdown on Chinese influence within U.S. research.
A federal jury in Boston found Charles Lieber, a renowned nanoscientist and the former chairman of Harvard’s chemistry department, guilty of making false statements to authorities, filing false tax returns and failing to report a Chinese bank account.
Prosecutors alleged that Lieber, in his quest for a Nobel Prize, in 2011 agreed to become a “strategic scientist” at Wuhan University of Technology in China and through it participated in a Chinese recruitment drive called the Thousand Talents Program.
Prosecutors say China uses that program to recruit foreign researchers to share their knowledge with the country. Participation is not a crime, but prosecutors contend Lieber, 62, lied to authorities inquiring about his involvement.