A former Chinese professor at the University of Arkansas and NASA researcher has been sentenced to 12 months and one day behind bars for being dishonest about his patents in China.
According to a statement released by the U.S. Department of Justice on June 16, Dr. Simon Saw-Teong Ang, or Hong Si Zhong, 64, would remain in federal prison, followed by a year of supervised release, and a fine of 5,600 dollars.
Ang owns 24 patents in China, which either have his name or his Chinese birth name. However, he failed to report that to the University of Arkansas as per the school’s policy. He did not come clean about his part in the inventions when speaking to an FBI agent either.
Ang also kept his numerous talent awards received from the Chinese government from his employer school’s acknowledgment.
Ang was arrested in May 2020, on wire fraud charges. Prosecutors accused him of deliberately concealing his links to the Chinese government and Chinese companies in order to secure funding from NASA and retain his job at the University of Arkansas.
Ang has been a professor and researcher at the University of Arkansas since 1988. As director of the school’s Director of the High Density Electronics Center, he served as a researcher and co-researcher on many U.S. government-funded contracts.
Originally, the ex-professor was facing two decades of imprisonment if convicted. On January 21 this year, he accepted a plea deal that cleared him of more than 50 other offenses, including federal wire fraud. In return, Ang would plead guilty to the charge of making a materially false and fictitious, and fraudulent statement to an FBI special agent.