Harvard Professor Charles Lieber allegedly had: an 1) offshore credit/debit card; 2) an offshore bank account; 3) and supposedly made false statements to investigators. Professor Lieber apparently used the three to hide money he earned from the Chinese Government. Therefore, in USA v. Lieber federal prosecutors filed Mr. Lieber’s 1/27/20 criminal complaint. On 1/28/20 the FBI arrested Professor Lieber as part of its investigation of Chinese spies.
Professor Lieber is the former Chair of the Chemistry and Chemical Biology Department at Harvard University. He was also the Chief Investigator of the Lieber Research Group at Harvard. The U.S. Government paid over $15 million to the Lieber Research Group from 2008 to 2019. The $15 million was grant money for the Group’s research on behalf of the U.S. Department of Defense and the National Institute of Health.
i) Professor Lieber’s Alleged Work For China
However, from about 2012 to 2015 Professor Lieber apparently worked for the Chinese Government. During that time Professor Lieber is thought to have first secretly worked as a scientist at Wuhan University of Technology in China. Then, Professor Lieber allegedly worked at China’s Thousand Talents Plan and agreed to set up a research lab.
The Thousand Talents Plan is believed to recruit individuals in the U.S. and elsewhere, to supply research and intellectual property to China. China reportedly paid Professor Lieber for years 2012 to 2015 up to $50,000 per month and up to $150,000 for living expenses. China additionally, seemingly awarded $1.5 million to Professor Lieber so he could establish the research lab.
ii) How Professor Lieber Reportedly Hid Money
Professor Lieber allegedly hid these monies at an offshore account he maintained at a bank in China. The Chinese Government reportedly paid Professor Lieber by depositing money into the offshore account. Next, when Professor Lieber visited China he allegedly withdrew money from the offshore account by using an offshore credit/debit card. Since this offshore bank in China had branches in NYC, Professor Lieber might have also withdrawn cash in NYC with the credit/debit card.
Furthermore, Professor Lieber is suspected of making false statements to investigators on 4/24/2018. At that time, Professor Lieber allegedly lied about participating in China’s Thousand Talents Plan. On 1/10/2019 Professor Lieber also allegedly told Harvard University he had not worked for the Thousand Talents Plan. This supposedly caused Harvard to make false statements to the National Institute of Health about Professor Lieber’s work for the Thousand Talents Plan. Besides false statements, the 7/28/20 superseding indictment available below accuses Professor Lieber of tax fraud and failing to report his alleged offshore bank account: