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Thursday, January 14, 2021

聯邦調查局逮捕MIT教授陳剛 罪名:詐欺聯邦經費

 

MIT教授陳剛(右)和天普大學教授郝小星2018年併肩而坐。
(檔案照片,周菊子攝)
              (Boston Orange) 聯邦調查局(FBI)(14)日逮捕了麻省理工學院奈米工程實驗室主任陳剛(Gang Chen),指稱他和中國政府合作,卻未向美國能源部報備。

                           聯邦調查局控告陳剛的罪名包括匯款詐欺,未申報外國銀行戶口(FBAR),報稅不實等。陳剛預定今日會再Donald L. Cabell法官面前首次出庭。

                     根據控罪文件,陳剛是歸化入籍的美國公民,現年56歲,在麻省理工學院擔任Pappalardo 微型/奈米工程實驗室主任,固態太陽能地熱能源轉換中心(S3TEC)主任。大約從2013年起,陳剛在麻省理工學院的研究是由美國各個聯邦機構撥給超過1900萬元的經費所支持的。

               2012起,據說陳剛在中國設計來推廣中國科技發展的領域中擔任各種職位,以其專業知識提供諮詢顧問服務,有時是直接面對中國政府官員,也經常獲得財務報酬。這包括在中國駐紐約總領事館要求下,做為中國政府的海外專家,並至少參加了2項中國人才計畫。從2013年起,陳剛據說拿了2900萬元的外國資金,包括來自中國南方科技大學(SUSTech)1900萬元。

             該控案還進一步指稱陳剛的推廣中國科技經濟發展,在2016年二月時他用MIT電郵地址發給自己的一的一封電子郵件中,有一部分的詳細描述。

             該封電子郵件的內容包括,1. 推廣中國合作,中國把創新當成關鍵及核心,不是時尚,但因為我們必須做,從歷史趨勢,以及從我們的舞台。3. 我們的經濟排第2為,但從科技(結構和經濟)以及人力資源來說,我們遠非第2名。4. 我們在環境上,但不是持續性,也不是勞力成本,上付出了很大代價。5. 在同一個地方的環境保護和發展,環境更重要些,如果成本更高就清潔能源,減少鋼鐵,水泥。我們必須依賴科技,不能像以前那樣成長。6.共產黨第18次會議把科技創新放在了核心位置。我們在計畫和實踐上不只是獨立創新,還要國際化。閉門造車的創新不會有用,創新是驅動力量。

             至少從20172019年,當陳剛還擔任幾個中國,以及中國企業的顧問時,陳剛申請並得到了美國能源部經費,以資助一部分他在麻省理工學院的研究。在這方面,據說陳剛未照美國能源部所規定的,揭露他和中國的持續關係。

             據說陳剛還在2018年的報稅表上未揭露,2018年時他在中國有個銀行戶口,存款超過1萬美元。

             匯款詐欺罪的刑罰可高達入獄20年,監管3年,罰款25萬元。虛假申報,未申報外國銀行戶口,各可判入獄5年,監管3年,以及罰款25萬元。

             聯邦調查局強調,此案在法院中證明有罪之前,應假設被告無辜

MIT Professor Arrested and Charged with Grant Fraud

Defendant allegedly failed to disclose his work for the People’s Republic of China to U.S. Department of Energy

BOSTON – A professor and researcher at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) was charged and arrested today in connection with failing to disclose contracts, appointments and awards from various entities in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Gang Chen, 56, was charged by criminal complaint with wire fraud, failing to file a foreign bank account report (FBAR) and making a false statement in a tax return. Chen will make an initial appearance today before Magistrate Judge Donald L. Cabell.

According to charging documents, Chen is a naturalized U.S. citizen who was born in China. He is a professor and researcher at MIT where he serves as Director of the MIT Pappalardo Micro/Nano Engineering Laboratory and Director of the Solid-State Solar Thermal Energy Conversion Center (S3TEC). Since approximately 2013, Chen’s research at MIT has been funded by more than $19 million in grants awarded by various U.S. federal agencies.

Since 2012, Chen has allegedly held various appointments with the PRC designed to promote the PRC’s technological and scientific development by providing advice and expertise – sometimes directly to PRC government officials – and often in exchange for financial compensation. This includes acting as an “overseas expert” for the PRC government at the request of the PRC Consulate Office in New York and serving as a member of at least two PRC Talent Programs. Since 2013, Chen allegedly received approximately $29 million of foreign funding, including $19 million from the PRC’s Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech).

It is further alleged that Chen’s efforts to promote the PRC’s scientific and economic development were partially detailed in a February 2016 email that Chen sent himself using his MIT e-mail account.  The email read:

1. promote chinese collaboration

2. China places innovation (scientific) as key and core not fashion [sic], but because

we must do it, from historic trend as well from our stage

3. our economy is no. 2, but from technology (structure of economy) and human

resources, we are far from no. 2

4. we are paying big price in environment, not sustainable, as well as from labor cost

5. environment protection and development in same place, environment even higher, clean energy if higher cost, reduce steel, cement. We must count on technology, cannot grow as past

6. communist 18th convention, scientific innovation placed at core. We realize not just independent innovation; but also internationalize to plan for and facilitate. Closed door innovation does not work; innovation as driving force

From at least 2017 to 2019 when Chen was serving in several advisory roles for the PRC and PRC entities, Chen applied for and obtained a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) grant in order to fund a portion of his research at MIT.  In doing so, it is alleged that Chen failed to disclose information about his ongoing affiliations with the PRC as required by DOE.

Chen also allegedly failed to disclose to the IRS in his 2018 tax return that he maintained a bank account in the PRC with more than $10,000 in 2018.

The charge of wire fraud provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. The charge of making false statements provides for a sentence of up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. The charge of failing to file an FBAR provides for a sentence of up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; Patrick J. Hegarty, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Defense, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, Northeast Field Office; William S. Walker, Acting Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigation, Boston; Joleen Simpson, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation in Boston; and Jim Breckenridge, Special Agent in Charge of the Department of Energy, Office of Inspector General made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorneys B. Stephanie Siegmann, Chief of Lelling’s National Security Unit, and Jason Casey and Timothy Kistner also of Lelling’s National Security Unit are prosecuting the case with assistance from Trial Attorney David Aaron of the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section.

The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

        

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