A top Harvard scientist was charged Tuesday with lying to the Pentagon and the National Institutes of Health about his involvement in a program run by the Chinese government and a Chinese university. A federal criminal complaint says Charles Lieber gave false statements about his participation in the Thousand Talents Program, which U.S. officials say is a conduit for economic espionage. The filing also says that Lieber, chair of Harvard’s department of chemistry and chemical biology, raked in hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in salary and living expenses from the Wuhan University of Technology, along with $1.5 million to build a laboratory in China.
The New York Times reports that the feds also charged two other scientists, Harvard-affiliated cancer researcher Zaosong Zheng, who allegedly stole cells from a Boston hospital, and former Boston University physicist Yanqing Ye, who allegedly lied about being a lieutenant in the People’s Liberation Army. The charges are part of a growing FBI crackdown on scientific research theft at U.S. universities and laboratories.