University of Arkansas Professor Arrested for Concealing Chinese Government Ties in NASA Grant Application
A University of Arkansas-Fayetteville professor was arrested on Friday after federal authorities determined he concealed alleged ties to the Chinese government in an application for NASA grant funding.
Simon Saw-Teong Ang, 63, is being charged with one count of wire fraud. A criminal complaint released after Ang’s initial court appearance on Monday describes the engineering professor as having close ties to the Chinese government and Chinese companies. Such affiliations would have been required disclosures on applications for NASA grants, and the authorities are claiming Ang concealed them.
#BREAKING Simon Ang, a @UArkansas professor, was just charged with wire fraud. Ang allegedly had close ties to the #Chinese government, which he failed to disclose as required when receiving grant money from @NASA. More about this #FBI case here: https://t.co/dB6QE21sXg #ARnews pic.twitter.com/j1ohqhJZO1
— FBI Little Rock (@FBILittleRock) May 11, 2020
Ang’s academic biography on the University of Arkansas College of Engineering website describes the man as an accomplished professor. The biography says Ang “received numerous teaching awards and supervised over 100 M.S. and Ph.D. students in electrical engineering, biomedical engineering, agricultural engineering, and mechanical engineering.” He’s published more than 300 academic articles and holds four U.S. patents.
The DOJ alleges that Ang’s “materially false representations to NASA and the University of Arkansas resulted in numerous wires to be sent and received that facilitated Ang’s scheme to defraud” in initial court filings.
Federal charges of wire fraud can be punishable by a prison sentence of up to 20 years.
Chinese government infiltration of American universities is well documented. The Chinese Communist Party has a track record of collecting sensitive scientific and research information at American universities through networks of international students and faculty. China’s communist authoritarian government is also known for buying influence within major universities, spending billions of dollars in nominal donations to create academic programs that disseminate propaganda and answer to Chinese intelligence.