A federal judge declared a mistrial in the case of a former University of Tennessee researcher charged with hiding his relationship with a Chinese university while receiving research grants from the federal government.
U.S. District Judge Thomas Varlan’s ruling came after jurors notified the judge they were at an “impasse,” WBIR-TV reported.
Anming Hu, an associate professor in the university’s Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Biomedical Engineering, was charged in February 2020 with three counts of wire fraud and three counts of making false statements.
The charges are part of a broader Justice Department crackdown against university researchers who conceal their ties to Chinese institutions, with a Harvard chemistry professor arrested in the past on similar charges. Federal officials also have asserted that Beijing is intent on stealing intellectual property from America’s colleges and universities, and have actively been warning schools to be on alert for espionage attempts.
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