A federal jury found him guilty of three counts of wire fraud and one count of false statements after purposefully hiding that he was employed by a government-affiliated university in China, Fox News reported. While Tao was employed by a government university in China, he also worked on research funded by the U.S. government while at the University of Kansas, according to the U.S. Department of Justice..
In 2018, Tao accepted a position at China’s Fuzhou University as a Changjiang Scholar Distinguished Professor, which required him to be a full-time employee of the university, according to court documents. As a faculty member of the University of Kansas, Tao was required to file annual reports of any outside employment that could be a conflict of interest. The Department of Justice said Tao did not notify the university about the position and lied in attempts to hide the employment.
Authorities also said Tao lied to the University of Kansas after moving to China to work full-time at Fuzhou University, claiming to university administrators that he was in Europe instead. During his time as a faculty member at the University of Kansas, Tao also conducted research under contracts between the U.S. government and the university, according to the Department of Justice. He caused the university to submit hundreds of thousands of dollars in reimbursement requests to the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation for expenses that were associated with the grant.
Tao faces up to 20 years in federal prison, as well as fine of $250,000 for wire fraud. In addition, he faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each of the program fraud counts, according to the Department of Justice.
–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice