After 2 hours and 45 minutes of deliberation, the jury found Lieber guilty on all counts. Lieber did not appear to show any emotion in reaction to the verdict. The judge did not set a date for sentencing.Lieber is the first academic researcher prosecuted under the China Initiative to be found guilty by a jury. —Bethany Halford
From the Harvard Crimson's Brandon Kingdollar:
BOSTON — Harvard professor Charles M. Lieber was found guilty of lying to government authorities about his ties to China in federal court on Tuesday, concluding a stunning downfall for one of the country’s top chemists.
A federal jury found Lieber guilty on all six felony charges, including two counts of making false statements and four related tax offenses. Federal prosecutors said Lieber, 62, chased money and Nobel hopes past the limits of the law by concealing his ties to China’s Thousand Talents Program in misleading statements to investigators and falsely-reported tax returns.
Jurors deliberated for just shy of three hours before coming to a verdict Tuesday. Lieber showed little reaction as the verdict was announced in court...
...Lieber, who is currently battling late-stage lymphoma, will be sentenced at a later hearing. Federal charges of false statements are subject to a maximum of five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
I'm pretty surprised. While the statements he made to the FBI were clearly pretty incriminating, I had no idea how the jury would take them, especially with all the doubts that that Dr. Lieber's lawyer threw their way. I thought they would acquit, but I was wrong.
The New York Times' article on the case had a sad note from the FBI interrogation:
He tried to impress on the two special agents that a different motive, the desire for acclaim, had brought him to partner with Wuhan and train scientists there.
“I was younger and stupid,” he said. “I want to be recognized for what I’ve done. Everyone wants to be recognized.” He offered a comparison he had given his son, a high school wrestler. The Nobel Prize is “kind of like an Olympic gold medal — it’s very, very rare,” he said.
A prize he had won recently was more like a bronze medal, he said with a self-deprecating laugh. “That probably is the underlying reason I did this,” he said.
There is something deeply tragic and knowing about that admission.