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New indictment claims KU researcher hid being recruited for Chinese talent program

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A new indictment is shedding more light on the case of a University of Kansas researcher who is accused of hiding the fact that he was also doing work for the Chinese government.

Feng Tao

The new indictment unveiled Wednesday in federal court charges Feng “Franklin” Tao with two counts of wire fraud and one count of program fraud for allegedly concealing from KU that he was doing work for China while he was employed at the University.

In Aug. 2019, Tao’s laboratory was raided and he was charged with allegedly receiving federal grant money for his job at K.U. at the same time that he was employed by China’s Fuzhou University.

The new indictment elaborates on the original indictment, describing how China offered competitive salaries and state-of-the- art research facilities to researchers who joined talent recruitment programs.

Potential conflicts of interest like that are required by law and university policy to be disclosed.

If convicted, Tao faces up to a total of 30 years in prison and possible fines of up to $500,000.

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