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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 14, 2020

Former Cleveland Clinic Employee and Chinese “Thousand Talents” Participant Arrested for Wire Fraud

Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers, U.S. Attorney Justin E. Herdman of the Northern District of Ohio, and FBI Cleveland Special Agent in Charge Eric B. Smith announced a former Cleveland Clinic employee was arrested yesterday without incident by law enforcement and had his initial court appearance today.

Dr. Qing Wang, a former Cleveland Clinic Foundation (CCF) employee, is charged with false claims and wire fraud related to more than $3.6 million in grant funding that Dr. Wang and his research group received from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). 

According to the criminal complaint, Dr. Wang knowingly failed to disclose to NIH that he had an affiliation with and held the position of Dean of the College of Life Sciences and Technology at the Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST) and received grant funds from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (CNSF) for some of the same scientific research funded by the NIH grant.  As a result, Dr. Wang’s false representations and promises led NIH to approve and fund grants to Dr. Wang and his research group at CCF. 

It is also alleged that Dr. Wang participated in the Thousand Talents Program, a program established by the Chinese government to recruit individuals with access to or knowledge of foreign technology and intellectual property.  As a result of his admission into the TTP, China provided $3 million in research support to enhance the facilities and operations at HUST.  Dr. Wang received free travel and lodging for his trips to China, to include a three-bedroom apartment on campus for his personal use.  This also occurred at the time Dr. Wang was receiving NIH grant funds yet failed to disclose this affiliation to the NIH.

This case was investigated by the Cleveland Division of the FBI and the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General and is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office – Northern District of Ohio.

A charge is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government's burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Topic(s): 
Counterintelligence and Export Control
National Security
Press Release Number: 
20-451
Updated May 14, 2020