Friday, June 12, 2020

Charles Lieber indicted by federal grand jury

From Chemical and Engineering News' Bethany Halford:
Charles M. Lieber, an expert in nanoscience and former chair of Harvard University’s Chemistry and Chemical Biology Department, was indicted by a federal grand jury on June 9. The grand jury formally charged Lieber with two counts of making false statements about his association with China’s Thousand Talents program. He will appear before a Boston federal court to answer the charges at a later date, according to a press release from the US Department of Justice. 
Lieber was first arrested for alleged fraud on Jan. 28. He has been out on $1 million bail since Jan. 30. He is currently on leave from Harvard... 
...“The government has this wrong. Professor Lieber has dedicated his life to science and to his students,” Lieber’s attorneys Marc Mukasey and Torrey Young say in a statement. “When justice is done, Charlie’s good name will be restored and the scientific community again will be able to benefit from his intellect and passion.”
Here's a link to the Department of Justice press release, and the actual indictment. I still predict no prison. The charges have penalty of "...a sentence of up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000.  Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors."

(I suspect DoJ has Professor Lieber dead to rights - I wonder what they will want? For him to resign his position? Pay a fine? I dunno.) 


  1. Even if he goes up the river in an orange jump suit, he'll be fine when he gets out. If a western university doesn't want him, then China will take him, although he may have to wear a respirator the rest of this life when he gives talks in front of the People's Liberation Army.

  2. I'm not thinking that they'll want anything that doesn't involve jail time - the Feds get cranky about being lied to (if being lied to is a lower-risk strategy, then they're going to get lied to a lot and people are going to get away with stuff they shouldn't). I have to imagine that if Harvard won't have him, someone else will (albeit with strict "don't lie to us" clauses).

  3. He has a very well-connected lawyer.


looks like Blogger doesn't work with anonymous comments from Chrome browsers at the moment - works in Microsoft Edge, or from Chrome with a Blogger account - sorry! CJ 3/21/20