KU science instructor arrested on federal fraud charge

August 22, 2019 - 6:57 am
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WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - A federal indictment alleges an associate professor at the University of Kansas was secretly working full time for a Chinese university while doing research in Kansas on projects funded by the U.S. government.

Feng "Franklin" Tao was charged Wednesday with one count of wire fraud and three counts of program fraud. The 47-year-old Lawrence man has been employed since August 2014 at the university's Center for Environmentally Beneficial Catalysis. The center researches sustainable technology to conserve natural resources and energy.

The indictment accuses Tao of falsely claiming to have no conflicts of interest. It alleges he fraudulently received more than $37,000 in salary funded by the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation.

Court records do not list an attorney for Tao, who was arrested Wednesday at his home.

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