FAYETTEVILLE — A grand jury has indicted a University of Arkansas, Fayetteville professor on 42 counts of wire fraud after prosecutors said he concealed ties to China while applying for NASA and U.S. Air Force research grants.
Simon Ang “knowingly made materially fraudulent misrepresentations and omissions” on a 2016 NASA grant application and a 2017 U.S. Air Force grant application submitted by Ozark Integrated Circuits, Inc., states an indictment entered into the case record Wednesday.
The fraud led to wire transfers to University of Arkansas, Fayetteville accounts, the indictment states.
Additionally, Ang, a Fayetteville resident, faces two counts of making a false statement in applying for a passport.
The indictment alleges that Ang failed to disclose participation in Chinese “talents plans,” described as “a Chinese government national strategy” that involves the recruitment of experts from around the world. These “various” talent programs “use financial, personal, and professional benefits in exchange for working with universities, businesses, and state-owned enterprises in China.”
The court document also states Ang did not disclose financial ties to Chinese companies where he held ownership or officer positions.
Grant money “would also be used, in part, to fund the salaries of researchers that Ang supervised and instructed to conduct research on behalf of companies he was affiliated with in China,” the indictment states.
Ang joined the UA’s engineering faculty in 1988. After his May 8 arrest, Ang was suspended without pay by the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. He was released May 29 on a $200,000 bond to home detention.
The FBI has made wide-ranging efforts to examine ties between China and U.S researchers. Arrests have been made this year of professors at Harvard and the University of Tennessee accused of fraud or making a fraudulent statement while hiding ties to China.