Former Purdue Professor sentenced for ploy to defraud the National Science Foundation

Photo from Purdue University

Dr. Qingyou Han and his wife, Lu Shao, were sentenced Monday for over 1.6 million in wire fraud.

Posted: Nov 23, 2020 2:49 PM
Updated: Nov 24, 2020 7:32 AM

INDIANAPOLIS — Dr. Qingyou Han of West Lafayette, former Purdue University professor and the Director of its Center for Materials Processing Research, was sentenced Monday to two years' probation. As WLFI previously reported, Dr. Qingyou Han and his wife, Lu Shao of Lakewood, Ohio, pleaded guilty to a criminal felony offense of wire fraud in October of 2019. Lu Shao was also sentenced, on behalf of her company Hans Tech, LLC to two years’ probation.

According to a released statement, together they are ordered to pay $1,651,956 in restitution; $1,351,964 to National Science Foundation, and $300,000 to the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, which had provided Dr. Han and Hans Tech with a matching grant in that amount. Dr. Han was also ordered to perform 200 hours of community service and pay a $25,000 fine.

“The National Science Foundation's (‘NSF’s’) Small Business Innovation Research (‘SBIR’) program provides small businesses with funding to conduct research and development work that will lead to the commercialization of innovative new products and services. Today’s sentence serves as a reminder that fraud in the SBIR Program will not be tolerated,” stated NSF Inspector General Allison Lerner. “The NSF Office of Inspector General (‘OIG’) remains committed to ensuring the integrity of the SBIR program and will actively pursue oversight of these taxpayer funds. I commend the U.S. Attorney’s Office for its support in this effort.”

The long investigation into the couple involved many elements including the suspicious rental of a house. 

This case was prosecuted as a result of an investigation by National Science Foundation Office of Inspector General (NSF OIG) with assistance from the Internal Revenue Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Michigan City Police Department.

The complete sentencing document can be found here.

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