Judge dismisses case against MIT professor, Nixon Peabody client Gang Chen

January 20, 2022

Director of Media Relations
Nicholas Braude

Boston, MA. A federal judge has dropped all charges against Massachusetts Institute of Technology Professor Gang Chen, clearing his name related to charges that were filed as part of the U.S. Department of Justice’s China Initiative.

On Jan. 20, 2022, U.S. District Judge Patti B. Saris granted the motion to dismiss, in which prosecutors admitted that the government could not “meet its burden of proof at trial. Dismissal of the indictment is therefore in the interests of justice.” The dismissal is an acknowledgment that Dr. Chen, a professor of mechanical engineering at MIT, did not commit any of the offenses brought in the indictment.

“I want to thank the many friends, colleagues, and family that supported me during this terrible year,” said Dr. Chen. “While I am relieved that my ordeal is over, I am mindful that this terribly misguided China Initiative continues to bring unwarranted fear to the academic community, and other scientists still face charges.”

Dr. Chen was arrested on January 14, 2021, charged with fraud for allegedly hiding affiliations with Chinese government institutions in applications for grants from the U.S. Department of Energy in 2017. He pleaded not guilty to all the charges. MIT and various faculty members issued public letters of support for Dr. Chen.

“The government finally acknowledged what we have said all along: Professor Gang Chen is an innocent man,” said Robert Fisher, a partner with Nixon Peabody’s Government Investigations & White-Collar Defense practice and one of the lead attorneys representing Dr. Chen. “Gang was never an overseas scientist for Beijing. He disclosed everything he was supposed to disclose, and he never lied to the government or anyone else. Gang and his family are the epitome of the American dream and are amazing people who fought this case courageously for over a year.”

In addition to Rob Fisher, the Nixon Peabody team representing Dr. Chen includes Boston partner Brian Kelly and associates Scott Seitz and Brianna Nassif.

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