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Lauded ex-Virginia Tech researcher sentenced to probation

September 7, 2019

ROANOKE, Va. (AP) — A former Virginia Tech scientist found guilty of conspiring to commit federal grant fraud has been sentenced to probation.

The Roanoke Times reports the federal judge sentencing Yiheng “Percival” Zhang said Friday he didn’t find a need for prison time, given that Zhang didn’t profit personally from his crime and lost his career and reputation.

Zhang was a celebrated biological systems engineering professor who was born in China and became a U.S. citizen. In 2017, he was charged with defrauding Virginia Tech, the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy. The complaint alleged Zhang filed for grants to get money for work that had already been completed.

Zhang’s attorney said his client’s motive in breaking the law was to do more research.

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Information from: The Roanoke Times, http://www.roanoke.com

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