Charles Lieber, the chair of Harvard University’s Department of
Chemistry and Chemical Biology, has been arrested and criminally
charged with making “false, fictitious and fraudulent statements”
to the U.S. Defense Department about his ties to a Chinese
government program to recruit foreign scientists and researchers.
The Justice Department says Lieber, 60, lied about his contact
with the Chinese program known as the Thousand Talents Plan, which
the U.S. has previously flagged as a serious intelligence concern.
He also is accused of lying about about a lucrative contract he
signed with China’s Wuhan University of Technology.
In an affidavit unsealed Tuesday, FBI Special Agent Robert Plumb
said Lieber, who led a Harvard research group focusing on
nanoscience, had established a research lab at the Wuhan
university — apparently unbeknownst to Harvard. […]
The arrangement between Lieber and the Chinese institution spanned
“significant” periods of time between at least 2012 and 2017,
according to the affidavit. It says the deal called for Lieber to
be paid up to $50,000 a month, in addition to $150,000 per year
“for living and personal expenses.”