A University of Arkansas professor has pled guilty to misrepresenting the existence of patents in China to FBI. The U.S. Department of Justice Press Release states:
An Arkansas man and University of Arkansas Professor pleaded
guilty today to one count of making a false statement to the FBI about the
existence of patents for his inventions in the People’s Republic of China
Simon Saw-Teong Ang, 64, of Fayetteville, entered a guilty
plea to count 58 on a superseding indictment charging him with making a materially
false and fictitious statement and representation to an FBI Special Agent.
According to court documents, 24 patents filed in the People’s Republic of
China bear Ang’s name or Chinese birth name. The University of Arkansas, where
Ang worked as a professor, required individuals such as Ang to promptly furnish
to the University “full and complete” disclosures of inventions, and University
policy provided that it, not individual inventors, would own all inventions
created by those subject to the policy. This policy was established “in
furtherance of the commitment of the University to the widest possible
distribution of the benefits of University Research, the protection of
Inventions resulting from such research, and the development of Inventions for the
Despite this requirement, Ang did not disclose his Chinese
patents to the university and, when interviewed by an FBI agent, lied about his
involvement in the inventions. Specifically, when asked whether his name would
be listed as “the inventor” of numerous patents in China, Ang denied being the
inventor, despite knowing he was. In addition, Ang also received numerous
talent awards from the PRC government, which he did not list on the
university’s annual conflict of interest disclosure forms.
Ang’s sentencing is expected to take place in approximately
four months. Ang faces a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison for the crime for
which he pleaded guilty, however, the plea agreement also states that if the
court wishes to sentence Ang to a sentence that is not a year and a day in
federal prison, Ang will have the right to withdraw from the plea agreement. A
federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the
U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen of the Justice
Department’s National Security Division and U.S. Attorney David Clay Fowlkes of
the Western District of Arkansas made the announcement.
The FBI, the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security
Service (DSS), NASA Office of Inspector General and Air Force Office of Special
Investigations investigated the case.