CARBONDALE – A mathematics professor and researcher at Southern Illinois University – Carbondale (SIUC) is under federal indictment for grant fraud.
Makanda resident Mingqing Xiao, 59 years old, is accused of fraudulently obtaining $151,099 in federal grant money from the National Science Foundation (NSF) by concealing support he was receiving from an arm of the Chinese government and a Chinese public university. Xiao is charged with two counts of wire fraud and one count of making a false statement.
“Again, an American professor stands accused of enabling the Chinese government’s efforts to corruptly benefit from U.S. research funding by lying about his obligations to, and support from, an arm of the Chinese government and a Chinese public university,” John C. Demers, Assistant Attorney General for National Security said in a U.S. Department of Justice release. “Honesty and transparency about funding sources lie at the heart of the scientific research enterprise. They enable U.S. agencies to distribute scarce grants for scientific research fairly and equitably. And they allow other researchers to evaluate potential conflicts of interest and conflicts of commitment. When researchers fall short of fulfilling these core academic values in ways that violate the law, the Department stands ready to investigate and prosecute.”
Xiao’s initial court appearance has not yet been scheduled. If convicted, he’ll face a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison on each count of wire fraud and 5 years in prison for making a false statement. All three charges are also punishable by a fine of up to $250,000.