A former professor at Emory University pled guilty on Monday to filing false tax returns after he failed to report over $500,000 in donations from the Chinese government, as reported by the Daily Caller.
Professor Xiao-Jiang Li received at least half a million dollars from the Chinese government over a six-year period from 2012 to 2018, which he allegedly received as income while working at two Chinese universities, according to the Department of Justice. He was paid as a result of the Chinese government’s “Thousand Talents Program,” a recruitment program that preys on some Americans and often violates American financial law.
After pleading guilty to the felony charges, Li was sentenced by a U.S. District Judge to a year of probation and a fine to the IRS of just over $35,000.
U.S. Attorney Byung Pak said in the press release that “this defendant thought he could live two, separate lives; one here at Emory University, and one in China as a Thousand Talents Program participant. Eventually, the truth caught up to this defendant, and he is now a convicted felon who is ordered to repay over $35,000 to the IRS.”
Li’s sentencing is the latest in a string of increased government efforts to crack down on Chinese influence, financial or otherwise, on the American education system, with China coming under heavier scrutiny than ever before due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.