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MIT Professor Arrested by FBI: Millions in Grant Fraud

Since 2012, Chen has allegedly held various appointments with the PRC designed to promote the PRC’s technological and scientific development by providing advice and expertise – sometimes directly to PRC government officials – and often in exchange for financial compensation. This includes acting as an “overseas expert” for the PRC government at the request of the PRC Consulate Office in New York and serving as a member of at least two PRC Talent Programs. Since 2013, Chen allegedly received approximately $29 million of foreign funding, including $19 million from the PRC’s Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech).


Gang Chen

Arrest by FBI

On January 14, 2021, Chen was charged by the FBI in Boston with grant fraud for failing to disclose millions of dollars in funds received from entities with direct ties to the PRC. [7] According to a press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office, Chen was charged with failing to report his contacts with Chinese entities to the U.S. Department of Energy along with wire fraud, failing to file a foreign bank account report, and making false statements on his tax returns[8]

BOSTON (CBS) – An MIT professor was charged Thursday with millions of dollars in grant fraud for allegedly hiding his relationship with China. Gang Chen, 56, was arrested at his home in Cambridge and search warrants were executed at his house and office.

The FBI in Boston said Chen failed to disclose his work with China to the U.S. Department of Energy when he applied for millions of dollars in grants.

“Our investigation found Chen was working with the Chinese communist government in various capacities dating back to 2012 at our country’s expense,” Joseph Bonavolonta, the Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Boston, said at a news conference in Boston, announcing the charges.

Bonavolonta said Chen knowingly defrauded taxpayers out of at least $19 million in grants to enhance China’s research in nanotechnology.


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