US prosecutors said Meyya Meyyappan took part in a Chinese government programme to recruit people familiar with foreign technology and intellectual property

Meyyappan hid this work from Nasa and the US Office of Government Ethics, and falsely told investigators he was not a member of the Thousand Talents Program

A senior Nasa scientist pleaded guilty on Wednesday to lying about his ties to a programme that encourages researchers to develop relationships with China in exchange for grants, the US Department of Justice said on Wednesday.

Meyya Meyyappan, 66, of Pacifica, California, entered his plea before US District Judge Kevin Castel in Manhattan.

Prosecutors said Meyyappan participated in the Thousand Talents Program, a Chinese government programme to recruit people familiar with foreign technology and intellectual property, and held professorships at universities in

Meyyappan concealed this work from Nasa and the US Office of Government Ethics, and falsely told investigators in an October 27 interview he was not a member of the Thousand Talents Program and did not hold the professorship in China, prosecutors said.

A lawyer for Meyyappan did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The defendant faces up to six months in prison under recommended federal guidelines at his scheduled June 16 sentencing, according to his plea agreement.

Nasa, or the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, oversees the US civilian space programme and space research. It had no immediate comment.

Prosecutors said Meyyappan, originally from Tamil Nadu, joined Nasa in 1996 and has since 2006 been chief scientist for exploration technology at its Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley.

The Justice Department has tried to clamp down on perceived Chinese influence over US academia and researchers, including through alleged spying and intellectual property theft, as part of the Trump administration’s broader hard line toward China.

Last January, the department charged

, the former chairman of Harvard University’s chemistry department, with lying about his involvement in the Thousand Talents Program and research funding that China awarded him.

Lieber has pleaded not guilty.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Record-breaking streak continues as 225,000 jobs added in January

US employers added another 225,000 in January as the record-breaking streak of job creation in the American economy entered its 11th year. The pace of hiring easily beat economic forecasts that the US would add about 164,000 jobs over the…

Watch: Enormous radio telescope collapses in Puerto Rico

An enormous radio telescope in Puerto Rico that had been used by scientists to track asteroids and study planets, has collapsed. It was featured in Hollywood films including “Contact” with Jodie Foster in 1997 and the James Bond film “Goldeneye”…

The women who paved way for Kamala Harris

What does it take to be a woman who could sit in office in the White House? One hundred years almost to the day since American women were granted the right to vote, that question remains yet unanswered. But on…

Costa del virus: TWO HUNDRED Covid-19 outbreaks have hit Spain post-lockdown and France has ‘500 active clusters’ as Britons fly out on holiday amid fears of second waves in tourist hotspots

Spain has suffered at least 200 coronavirus outbreaks since it lifted the lockdown while France today revealed it has up to 500 active ‘clusters’ of the disease.    Fears of a second wave are growing in Spain after it identified 5,695…