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MIT professor indicted by federal grand jury for allegedly failing to disclose ties to China and wire fraud

MIT faculty member Gang Chen.
MIT faculty member Gang Chen.MIT

Federal prosecutors moved ahead Wednesday with the criminal case against MIT professor Gang Chen, who is free on $1 million bond following his arrest last week for allegedly failing to disclose ties to China.

Chen was taken into custody by FBI agents on a criminal complaint, the first stage in the federal criminal justice system, and has pleaded not guilty to all charges in US District Court in Boston before being released on the bond last Thursday.

US Attorney Andrew Lelling’s office said Wednesday a grand jury has now indicted Chen on two counts of wire fraud, one count of failing to file a foreign bank account report and one count of making a false statement in a tax return.

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The indictments replace the criminal complaints and Chen is scheduled to appear via Zoom to answer to the new charges on Friday, according to court records.

In court papers, prosecutors allege that Chen, who is a naturalized American citizen born in China, received more than $19 million in grants awarded by various US federal agencies since 2013.

But he allegedly never disclosed “contracts, appointments and awards from various entities in the People’s Republic of China.” Prosecutors allege China is trying to gain a technical advantage over the US by siphoning off American expertise through secretive means.

Last week, Chen’s attorney, Robert Fisher, said in a statement that Chen “has dedicated his life to scientific advancement in mechanical engineering. He loves the United States and looks forward to vigorously defending these allegations,” Fisher said.


John R. Ellement can be reached at john.ellement@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.