Virginia Tech Professor Arrested, Charged with Fraud

September 28, 2017

A professor of biological systems engineering at Virginia Tech is accused of defrauding the university and the federal government in a case involving more than $1 million in grant funding, the The Roanoke Times reported. The professor, Yiheng Percival Zhang, is charged with wire fraud, making criminal false claims and making false statements, according to a federal affidavit filed in the U.S. Western District Court of Virginia. He was arrested last week and in jail as of early this week, according to The Times.

Zhang’s lawyer said the professor maintains his innocence and intends to vigorously fight the charges. Zhang, a Tech graduate and Chun You, a postdoctoral researcher in China, are accused of defrauding the university, the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy by withholding grant funds from 2014 to 2016. Specifically, Zhang allegedly applied for grants to pay for research that already had been completed in China and only turned over 18 percent of federal funds to Tech when he owed it 30 percent as part of the grant agreement. A university spokesperson said Zhang was still employed there this week.


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