On Monday an indictment was unsealed which alleges that a University of Arkansas professor committed criminal fraud by ‘hiding his ties to the Chinese Communist Party the Chinese Government and Chinese technology companies all while asking for $5m in US grant money.
Simon Saw-Teong Ang, 63 a professor at the University of Arkansas, has been arrested and charged with wire fraud over alleged close links to China.
Ang. worked as a professor at the Fayetteville campus. He allegedly has close ties to the Chinese Government and Chinese technology companies, which he failed to disclose those ties when required to do so to receive grant money from a NASA managed grant program.
During a press conference, the FBI revealed that Ang is alleged to have made ‘materially false representations to NASA and the University of Arkansas’ which resulted in several money transfers that facilitated Ang’s scheme to defraud.
The charge states Ang received more than $5 million in federal funding for research projects but failed to disclose payment from Chinese universities and companies in violation of the University of Arkansas employment policy.
Additionally, the charge stated that he failed to disclose this outside income. Ang did reveal some of his work in recruiting Chinese scholars, but not all. University officials say he should have disclosed potential conflicts from external contacts, particularly with Chinese companies.
Ang’s arrest came after collaboration between the Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas David Clay Fowlkes, Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers, and FBI Special Agent in Charge Diane Upchurch of the FBI Little Rock Field Office.
‘These false representations to NASA and the University of Arkansas resulted in numerous money wires sent and received that facilitated Ang’s scheme to defraud the United States,’ said the DOJ in a statement.
If convicted Ang could face a maximum jail term of 20 years behind bars.
The FBI is still continuing to investigate the case.
Ang has taught at the University of Arkansas since 1988 and was director of the High-Density Electronics Center in the Department of Electrical Engineering. Ang received the Distinguished Achievement Award in Teaching in 1994 from the Arkansas Alumni Association.