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New charges filed against University of Kansas chemist Feng “Franklin” Tao

by Jyllian Kemsley
January 24, 2020 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 98, Issue 4


US prosecutors filed a new indictment Jan. 15 against University of Kansas chemist Feng “Franklin” Tao. Tao was previously charged with one count of wire fraud and three counts of program fraud for allegedly receiving US federal grant money while also employed by Fuzhou University in China as a Changjiang Distinguished Professor. The recent indictment supersedes the previous one. Tao is now charged with two counts of wire fraud for submitting false conflict of interest forms electronically for the University of Kansas. He is also charged with one count of program fraud because he “embezzled, stole, and obtained by fraud, property worth at least $5,000,” the indictment alleges. A motion to dismiss the original indictment filed by Tao’s attorneys on Nov. 17 claims that a “disgruntled, unpaid visiting scholar at KU” tried to extort $300,000 from Tao, then hacked into his email and “fabricated complaints” to KU and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Tao is on administrative leave from his position as a professor of chemical engineering, KU spokesperson Andy Hyland says.

Bibiana Campos Seijo(February 18, 2020 5:12 PM)
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Bibiana Campos Seijo
Editor in Chief, C&EN, and VP of C&EN Media Group


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