NASA Climate Fraudsters Jailed
Written by bigstory.ap.org
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A university professor in Pennsylvania has been sentenced to a year and a day in prison on a conviction of defrauding NASA by letting graduate students and researchers do all the work on a $700,000 project.
U.S. District Court Judge Harvey Bartle III also ordered Yujie Ding on Wednesday to pay a fine of $3,000 and restitution of $72,000. His wife, Yuliya Zotova, was sentenced to three months in prison.
Authorities said the Lehigh University engineering professor and his wife told NASA that their startup company ArkLight would develop a cutting-edge sensor used to track climate change. Instead, prosecutors alleged, they used the company “as a front to funnel federal grant money to themselves for research performed by students and others.”
Instead, an investigation found that the pair used ArkLight “as a front to funnel federal grant money to themselves for research performed by students and others working under Ding’s supervision at his university lab.”
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the defendants sent invoices to NASA for research that, a jury found, ArkLight had not participated in.
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