College Processor Charged With Grant Fraud

An American mathematics professor and researcher Southern Illinois University in Carbondale was charged on April 21 with wire fraud and one count of making a false statement. Mingqing Xiao was accused of fraudulently taking $151,099 in federal grant money from the National Science Foundation by hiding the support he was getting from the Chinese government and Shenzhen University, a public university in Guangdong Province in China. Before awarding the grant, NSF asked Xiao about any current or pending funding from “worldwide sources,” including specifically whether he held any position outside the United States or had obtained funding from any non-US funding sources. The indictment said Xiao falsely reported to NSF that he had nothing else to disclose. Xiao has worked with SIUC since 2000. His research focuses on partial differential equations, control theory, optimization theory, dynamical systems, and computational science. While employed at SIUC, Xiao applied for and received NSF grant funds for a project set to run from 2019 to 2022. He allegedly did not tell NSF about another, overlapping grant that he had already received from the Natural Science Foundation of Guangdong Province, China. He also allegedly failed to tell NSF that he was employed by Shenzhen University, and had already committed to teaching and conducting research there from 2018 to 2023. The indictment stated that when his NSF grant proposal was still pending, in March 2019, Xiao submitted another grant proposal to the Natural Science Foundation of China. Xiao applied for the funds as an employee of Shenzhen University and allegedly did not disclose the new Chinese proposal to NSF. Xiao is charged with falsely certifying to SIUC that his NSF grant proposal was true, complete, and accurate. If convicted, Xiao faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison on each count of wire fraud and five years in prison for making a false statement. All three charges are also punishable by a fine of up to $250,000.




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