Fact check

News viral on Social media claiming Dr Charles Lieber setup chemical/biological “Research” laboratory in China.

Ayupp Fact Check image source social media

Ad - Article Continues below

Multiple Fake news claims-: News viral on Social media claiming Dr. Charles Lieber setup chemical/biological “Research” laboratory in China.

In case you missed it, today, Federal Agents arrested Dr. Charles Lieber, chair of Harvard University's Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, with lying to the Department of Defense about secret monthly payments of $50,000.00 paid by China and receipt of millions more to help set up a chemical/biological “Research” laboratory in China. Also arrested were two Chinese “Students” working as research assistants, one of whom was actually a lieutenant in the Chinese Army, the other captured at Logan Airport as he tried to catch a flight to China - smuggling 21 vials of “Sensitive Biological Samples” according to the FBI.

Oh, almost forgot. The research lab the good professor had helped set up? It’s located at the Wuhan University of Technology. Wuhan China is ground zero to the potential global pandemic known as the “Coronavirus” which is both spreading rapidly and killing people.

This is Stephen Coonts international spy novel stuff happening in real life - and it has barely made the news.

 

Facts Check Verdict: True

News Verification: Yes it is indeed true news about Dr. Charles Lieber, Federal Agents arrested Dr. Charles Lieber, chair of Harvard University's Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, with lying to the Department of Defense about secret monthly payments of $50,000.00 paid by China and receipt of millions more to help set up a chemical/biological “Research” laboratory in China. Also arrested were two Chinese “Students” working as research assistants, one of whom was actually a lieutenant in the Chinese Army, the other captured at Logan Airport as he tried to catch a flight to China - smuggling 21 vials of “Sensitive Biological Samples” according to the FBI

As per justice.gov, the other two arrests were,

Yanqing Ye, 29, a Chinese national, was charged in an indictment today with one count each of visa fraud, making false statements, acting as an agent of a foreign government and conspiracy. Ye is currently in China.  The complaint alleges that in 2018 and 2019, Lieber lied about his involvement in the Thousand Talents Plan and affiliation with WUT. 

Zaosong Zheng, 30, a Chinese national, was arrested on Dec. 10, 2019, at Boston’s Logan International Airport and charged by criminal complaint with attempting to smuggle 21 vials of biological research to China.  On Jan. 21, 2020, Zheng was indicted on one count of smuggling goods from the United States and one count of making false, fictitious or fraudulent statements.  He has been detained since Dec. 30, 2019.

According to court documents, since 2008, Dr. Lieber who has served as the Principal Investigator of the Lieber Research Group at Harvard University, which specialized in the area of nanoscience, has received more than $15,000,000 in grant funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Department of Defense (DOD). Lieber became a “Strategic Scientist” at Wuhan University of Technology (WUT) in China and was a contractual participant in China’s Thousand Talents Plan from in or about 2012 to 2017. 

Harvard’s officials had not, however, approved the laboratory and did not know about it until early 2015, according to us Department of Justice. Nor did they know that while conducting his research with grants from the Department of Defence and the National Institutes of Health (nih), Dr Lieber was, according to federal authorities, also being paid up to $50,000 a month by wut, plus at least $150,000 in “living expenses”, as a prized recruit in China’s Thousand Talents program to bring foreign scientists, and return Chinese expatriates, to that country’s research laboratories

Chinese recruitment programs such as the Thousand Talents Plan have been exploited by scientists who have downloaded sensitive research files before returning to China, filed patents based on US research, lied on grant applications and failed to disclose money they had received from Chinese institutions, according to a congressional report issued last fall.

Lieber is required to give up his passport and disclose any foreign bank accounts and barred from talking to any potential victims or witnesses in the case, among other things. His wife will also hand over her passport after prosecutors raised concerns that she could move cash to another country.




Scroll to Top