FBI Agent Admits Lack of Knowledge at Trial

The FBI agent who oversaw the investigation of a researcher accused of illegally keeping secret work he was doing for China while employed at the University of Kansas testified that he didn’t learn until after the professor’s arrest that he had been honored for his high output.

The defense called the FBI agent to the stand, trying to cast doubt on the government’s handling of the prosecution of Feng “Franklin” Tao.

Tao faces charges of wire and program fraud for not disclosing on conflict-of-interest forms the work he was doing for China while employed at the university.

Federal prosecutors contend it was a scheme to defraud the university, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the National Science Foundation.

The defense told jurors during last week’s opening statements that Tao was merely “moonlighting.”

The defense pointed out that Tao was so prolific that the University of Kansas announced in April 2019 that he was one of four faculty members receiving an award for their scholarly or research contributions.