A medical researcher and professor who had been working most recently at Ohio State University is facing federal charges in what prosecutors say was a sophisticated scheme to transfer U.S.-backed research to China.
Song Guo Zheng, 57, of suburban Hilliard, and his research groups secured more than $4.3 million in grants from the National Institutes of Health for projects while receiving overlapping funding from the National Natural Science Foundation of China, according to a criminal complaint unsealed Thursday in Columbus.
Zheng worked in the division of rheumatology and immunology at OSU’s Wexner Medical Center. When he was hired last year, the university described him as “a nationally and internally renowned researcher” known as an enthusiastic pioneer in his field.
Prosecutors now say Zheng was involved in a “sophisticated medical grant fraud scheme” involving the transfer of research paid for with U.S. grant funds to China. He faces one felony count of fraud or bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds, which carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison, and one count of making false statements when not disclosing his foreign affiliations to authorities, which carries up to five years.
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