All Charges Dropped Against MIT Professor Accused of Hiding Ties to China

Remember the MIT professor who was accused of hiding work for the Chinese government? He was arrested for not revealing it on federal grant applications. It is against the law to lie about it.

All charges have been dropped. According to Mass Live, Chen was arrested a year ago for failing to disclose millions of dollars in contracts, appointments and awards from the Chinese government when he applied for a grant from the Department of Energy. He was accused of wire fraud and making a false statement on a tax return. He pleaded not guilty to all the charges. The federal government will no longer prosecute Chen, according to the U.S. Attorney. After looking at new evidence, her office found that it couldn't meet the burden of proof in a trial. "As prosecutors, we have an obligation in every matter we pursue to continually examine the facts while being open to receiving and uncovering new information." The process that led to the dismissal is in the interests of justice. Chen was accused of using the U.S. government's money to benefit the Chinese government, while failing to disclose his relationship with Chinese leaders. The New York Times reported that Chen's colleagues protested his arrest, saying that grant disclosure violations were considered a serious crime. Department of Energy officials said they would award a grant to him if he had disclosed his ties to China.

The MIT Technology Review says that Chen had maintained his innocence from the start and that MIT had indicated that he was working to establish a research collaboration on behalf of the institution. MIT paid for his defense. Robert Fisher, Chen's defense attorney, said that the government finally acknowledged that Chen is an innocent man. Our defense was never based on legal issues. Gang did not commit any of the offenses he was charged with. Full stop. He wasn't in a talent program. He was never a scientist in Beijing. He never lied to the government or anyone else. Chen said that he was relieved that his case was over, but that he was still concerned that the China Initiative still brought unwarranted fear to the academic community.

The scientist said that he would have more to share soon.