[Vision2020] WSU professor arrested; $8 million fraud charge

Kenneth Marcy kmmos1 at frontier.com
Thu Feb 25 23:36:58 PST 2016

WSU professor arrested; $8 million fraud charge

from KXLY News, Spokane, WA


Published On: Feb 25 2016 02:27:46 PM PST Updated On: Feb 25 2016 
06:25:32 PM PST

WSU professor arrested, charged with defrauding government out of $8M

A Washington State University associate professor has been arrested by 
federal authorities for allegedly defrauding the government out of 
approximately $8 million in grant money

Dr. Haifang Wen, 41, of Pullman was taken into federal custody Wednesday 
for making false claims and wire fraud. A sealed federal complaint 
against Wen and his brother and sister in-law has been issued by the US 
Attorney’s office in western New York.

According to a press release from the US Attorney, the trio allegedly 
set up bank accounts for private companies under their control in the 
towns of Horseheads and Elmira in New York. The Wens allegedly 
fabricated grant proposals claiming they were developing asphalt 
composition technologies.

Federal investigators say they deposited approximately $8 million in 
federal grants into those private accounts and the Wens used the money 
for personal expenses and not on research.

Wen was released without bond following his first appearance in federal 
court Wednesday in Spokane and is scheduled to have another hearing in 
federal court next month in New York. His brother and sister-in-law, who 
currently live in Virginia, were also arrested Wednesday.

Wen, the director of the Washington Center for asphalt technology at 
Washington State University. WSU officials say he is still employed at 
the university.

Wen graduated with a bachelors of science degree in civil engineering 
from Shandong University in China in 1995, received his masters degree 
in civil engineering from Southeast University in China in 1998 and 
received his doctorate in civil engineering from North Carolina State 
University in 2001.

He has received numerous awards as a mentor and distinguished professor 
during his tenure at WSU, where he has worked since 2008, according to 
his biography on the WSU website.


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