The former Chair of Harvard University’s Chemistry and Chemical Biology Department was indicted on June 9, 2020 by the Justice Department (DOJ) on charges of making false statements to federal authorities.
Lieber is alleged to have lied about his involvement with a tech university in Wuhan, and about participating in China’s “Thousand Talents Program,” which lures top scientists to China.
According to the DOJ, Lieber’s research at the Lieber Research Group at Harvard University has been funded by more than $15 million in research grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Department of Defense (DOD).
In addition, under the terms of a three-year Thousand Talents contract, WUT allegedly paid Lieber a salary of up to $50,000 USD per month, living expenses of up to 1 million Chinese Yuan (approximately $158,000 USD and awarded him more than $1.5 million to establish a research lab at WUT.
In return, Lieber was obligated to work for WUT “not less than nine months a year” by “declaring international cooperation projects, cultivating young teachers and Ph.D. students, organizing international conference[s], applying for patents and publishing articles in the name of [WUT].”
The charge of making false statements provides for a sentence of up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000.