Three researchers at an undisclosed New York University were working on a federally funded project, while having secret connections to a Chinese company doing the same research. Two were arrested, one is believed to have fled to China.
Yudong Zhu, Xing Yang, and Ye Li were charged by the FBI on May 20 for commercial bribery in a conspiracy that the three received payment from the Chinese company and a research institution supported by the Chinese Communist Party. They allegedly provided the China-based company with non-public information on their research.
Both Zhu and Yang were arrested, yet Li is believed to have fled to China, according to a press release. Zhu is facing an additional charge for lying about conflicts of interest.
The announcement was made by the office of Preet Bharara, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, and George Venizelos, assistant director-in-charge of the New York office of the FBI.
The multi-million dollar project focused on improving MRI technology, and was being funded by a multi-million dollar federal grant from the National Institute of Health.