KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The Department of Justice announced that a University of Tennessee professor was charged with wire fraud and making false statements about his connection to a university in China.
A release from the department said Anming Hu, an associate professor in the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Biomedical Engineering, was arrested on Thursday, February 27.
Hu was charged with three counts of wire fraud and three counts of making false statements.
“Hu allegedly committed fraud by hiding his relationship with a Chinese university while receiving funding from NASA,” said Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers. “This is just the latest case involving professors or researchers concealing their affiliations with China from their American employers and the U.S. government. We will not tolerate it.”
Investigators said, beginning in 2016, Hu began concealing his affiliation to Beijing University of Technology to defraud NASA. Federal law prohibits NASA from using appropriated funds on projects in collaboration with China or Chinese universities. Investigators said this led to UT falsely certifying to NASA that the university was in compliance with that law.
Hu faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000 on each wire fraud count and up to five years in prison on each of the false statement counts.
The case is being investigated by the FBI, the Offices of the Inspectors General for NASA and the Department of Energy. The release said the University of Tennessee has cooperated with the investigation.
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