KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A federal judge has declared a mistrial in the case of a former University of Tennessee researcher charged with hiding his relationship with a Chinese university while receiving research grants from the federal government.
WBIR-TV reports U.S. District Judge Thomas Varlan’s ruling in Knoxville came after jurors notified the judge they were at an impasse. It was not immediately clear whether the government would try to prosecute Anming Hu again.
A defense motion to throw the case out is pending before Varlan.
Hu was charged in February 2020 with three counts of wire fraud and three counts of making false statements.
The indictment alleges that beginning in 2016, Hu was part of a scheme to defraud the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) by hiding his affiliation with the Beijing University of Technology (BJUT), which is located in China.
Federal law prohibits NASA from using federal funds on projects in collaboration with China or that of Chinese universities.
The indictment alleges Hu’s false representations and omissions to UTK about his affiliation with BJUT caused UTK to falsely certify to NASA that UTK was in compliance with federal law.