Chinese government employee accused of visa fraud targeting US research

Chinese government employee accused of visa fraud targeting US research
© Greg Nash

A Chinese government employee was arrested Monday and accused of participating in a visa fraud scheme to allow Chinese government employees to enter the country under the guised intention of research recruitment.

Zhongsan Liu, 57, was charged with conspiracy to commit visa fraud in federal court, according to a U.S. attorney's office release. Prosecutors claimed Liu was conspiring to give visas to Chinese government employees in order to scout for U.S. scientific experts to come to China.

“We welcome foreign students and researchers, including from China, but we do not welcome visa fraud — especially on behalf of a government,” Assistant Attorney General John Demers said in the statement. “We will continue to confront Chinese government attempts to subvert American law to advance its own interests in diverting U.S. research and know-how to China.”

The statement said Liu, who worked for the China Association for International Exchange of Personnel, had participated in the conspiracy since about 2017.

Liu allegedly recruited one woman to the United States for full-time talent recruitment work at the association. But her visa to the country was for conducting research at a university, the statement said.

Liu appeared in court in Manhattan after being arrested in Fort Lee, N.J.