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False statement about Chinese patents puts former UA professor in federal prison

Jun 16, 2022

An Arkansas man and former University of Arkansas Professor was sentenced today to 12 months and a day in prison followed by one year of supervised release on one count of making a false statement to the FBI about the existence of patents for his inventions in the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The Honorable Judge Timothy L. Brooks presided over the sentencing hearing in the United States District Court in Fayetteville - according to a Justice Department news release.

According to court documents, Simon Saw-Teong Ang, 65, of Fayetteville, filed 24 patents in the People’s Republic of China bear Ang’s name or Chinese birth name. The University of Arkansas, where Ang worked as a professor, required individuals such as Ang to promptly furnish to the University “full and complete” disclosures of inventions, and University policy provided that it, not individual inventors, would own all inventions created by those subject to the policy. This policy was established “in furtherance of the commitment of the University to the widest possible distribution of the benefits of University Research, the protection of Inventions resulting from such research, and the development of Inventions for the public good.”

Despite this requirement, Ang did not disclose his Chinese patents to the university and, when interviewed by an FBI agent, lied about his involvement in the inventions. Specifically, when asked whether his name would be listed as “the inventor” of numerous patents in China, Ang denied being the inventor, despite knowing he was. In addition, Ang also received numerous talent awards from the PRC government, which he did not list on the university’s annual conflict of interest disclosure forms.

U.S. Attorney David Clay Fowlkes of the Western District of Arkansas, Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen of the Justice Department’s National Security Division, and FBI Little Rock Special Agent in Charge James A. Dawson made the announcement.

The FBI, the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS), NASA Office of Inspector General, and Air Force Office of Special Investigations investigated the case.

U.S. Attorney David Clay Fowlkes from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Arkansas and Trial Attorney Christine Bonomo from the Department of Justice National Security Division are prosecuting the case.

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