KANSAS CITY, KANSAS — The University of Kansas researcher indicted on federal charges for hiding he was working full-time for a Chinese university while doing research for Kansas made his first appearance in federal court Friday afternoon.
Feng "Franklin" Tao, an associate professor at KU's Center for Environmentally Beneficial Catalysis, was charged with one count of wire fraud and three counts of program fraud on Wednesday.
The U.S. government is requesting detention for Tao until the case is complete, said U.S. Attorney Tony Mattivi, who is prosecuting the case. Mattivi said the government is concerned Tao will attempt to flee the U.S.
The U.S. government located Tao's travel history and found he made 23 trips to China in past years, Mattivi said. His travel record, in conjunction with a five-year contract with Fuzhou University in China, substantiates the government's belief Tao committed fraud, Mattivi said.
Tao is seeking a lawyer. His next hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 27, at 2 p.m. It is anticipated further proceedings will happen before Tao enters his plea.
Tao was temporarily detained until the next hearing.