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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Oklahoma

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 29, 2020

Husband and Wife Working at University Arrested for Wire Fraud Involving Department of Energy Grant

OKLAHOMA CITY – Shaorong Liu ("Liu") and Juan Lu ("Lu"), both of Norman, have been arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, announced U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Downing.

According to an affidavit in support of a criminal complaint, Liu and Lu are employed at the University of Oklahoma Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.  Liu and Lu also controlled a company, MicroChem Solutions (MCS).  Through MCS, they applied for and received federal grant monies from the Department of Energy.  The mission of the grant program was to support scientific excellence and technological innovation through the investment of federal research funds in critical American priorities to build a strong national economy.  The affidavit alleges Liu and Lu spent this grant money on matters unrelated to the purpose of the grant funding, including on personal expenses.

Today, Liu and Lu made an initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge­­­­­­­ Suzanne Mitchell in Oklahoma City.  If found guilty, Liu and Lu face a maximum penalty of twenty years in prison.

This case is a result of an investigation by the Department of Energy Office of Inspector General, the National Science Foundation Office of Inspector General, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation Oklahoma City Field Office.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Will Farrior and Matt Dillon are prosecuting the case.

The public is reminded that these charges are merely an allegation and that both defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Reference is made to public filings for more information.  To download a photo of U.S. Attorney Downing, click here.

Updated May 29, 2020