ROANOKE, Va. — A Virginia Tech professor has been accused of defrauding the university and the federal government in a case that involves more than $1 million in grant funding.
An affidavit filed in the U.S. Western District Court of Virginia says Yiheng Percival Zhang was charged last week with wire fraud, making criminal false claims and making false statements.
Zhang’s lawyer told The Roanoke Times that Zhang maintains his innocence and plans to vigorously fight the charges.
Zhang, a biological systems engineering professor – along with a graduate and a postdoctoral researcher – are accused of defrauding the university, the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy by withholding grant funds between 2014 and 2016. The complaint alleges that Zhang filed for grants to get money for work that had already been completed in China.