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Press Release

Former scientist from Los Alamos National Laboratory pleads guilty in federal court to making false statement about involvement with Chinese government technology program

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico

            ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Turab Lookman, 67, of Sante Fe, New Mexico, and a former scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory, pleaded guilty in federal court in Albuquerque today to a charge of making a false statement to a government investigator about his involvement in the Thousand Talents Program, an initiative by the Chinese government to recruit people with access to and knowledge of foreign technology and intellectual property.

            A grand jury previously indicted Lookman on May 22, 2019, on three counts of making false statements to the federal government.  In his plea agreement, Lookman admitted to lying to a counterintelligence investigator from Los Alamos National Laboratory on June 6, 2018.  The investigator asked Lookman if he had been recruited by or applied for a job with the Thousand Talents Program.  Lookman knowingly made a false statement by answering “no” when he knew that he had in fact been recruited by, applied for, and been accepted for participation in the Thousand Talents Program for monetary compensation.   

            Lookman is currently out of custody awaiting sentencing.  He faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

            The FBI investigated this case with support from the Los Alamos National Laboratory.  Assistant U.S. Attorney George C. Kraehe is prosecuting the case.


Updated January 27, 2020

Press Release Number: 20-010