The FBI has arrested Simon So-Teong Ang, an electrical engineering professor at the University of Arkansas, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. He is accused that he, working on a secret project NASA, did not mention the cooperation with Chinese companies and universities and receiving grants from the Chinese authorities.
Mr. Ang was arrested by FBI agents last Friday. According to the bureau, by keeping quiet about grants from China while receiving funding from U.S. government agencies, the professor broke the rules on conflict of interest situations. “Ang gave false information and did not disclose his work outside the University of Arkansas, which allowed Ang to keep his job at the University of Arkansas and get (from the U.S. government) funding for his research … Ang’s close ties with the Chinese government and working for several Chinese companies would have made him inappropriate to receive grants from U.S. government agencies,” according to a lawsuit filed in the District Court of the Western District of Arkansas.
Simon So-Teong Ang received more than $5 million in grants from NASA and several other U.S. agencies. An investigation into him began after a university employee found a hard drive belonging to Mr. Ang and handed it over to the FBI. It contained his correspondence with a Chinese scientist, in which Mr. Ang complained that he would have problems if the U.S. found out about his participation in China’s “Thousand Talent Plan” program aimed at attracting scientists.
Recently, the U.S. has intensified its fight against scientists who receive grants from China. In February, Charles Lieber, head of the Department of Chemistry at Harvard University, was arrested, and he is also accused of concealing relations with Chinese universities and participating in the “Plan of a Thousand Talents”.