Three researchers at New York University School of Medicine have been charged with taking bribes in exchange for sharing private details about their work with a Chinese medical imaging company and research institute supported by the Chinese government, the New York Times reports.
The Times writes that after the US National Institutes of Health awarded a grant to Yudong Zhu, an associate professor of radiology at the school, to support his MRI technology research, Zhu recruited Xing Yang and Ye Li as research engineers. However, they also received tuition, rent, and other financial support from an executive at a Chinese imaging company who is also associated with the government-supported institute there, the Times notes.
Zhu has also been charged with falsifying records.
It's "a case of inviting and paying for foxes in the henhouse," the federal prosecutor says.
The Associated Press adds that an internal review at NYU uncovered the issue, and that Li told NYU administrators that he received thousands of dollars from the Chinese institute for work on an MRI project. According to prosecutors, Zhu also admitted receiving about $500,000, the Times says.
Zhu and Yang have been released on bond, while Li is thought to have left the country, the Times reports.