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Ex-Virginia Tech professor convicted in grant fraud case

February 26, 2019

ROANOKE, Va. (AP) — A former Virginia Tech professor has been found guilty of conspiring to commit federal grant fraud, making false statements and obstruction.

Yiheng Percival Zhang was a biological systems engineering professor. In 2017, he was charged with defrauding Virginia Tech, the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy. The complaint alleged that Zhang filed for grants to get money for work that had already been completed in China.

A judge released his findings of act last week after a bench trial in September in U.S. District Court in Roanoke.

A sentencing date was not immediately set.

During his trial, Zhang’s lawyer said the case against Zhang had turned into a felony criminal prosecution because the federal government is paranoid about China stealing U.S. technology.

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