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Former UA professor pleads innocent in federal wire-fraud case



FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — A former engineering professor at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, pleaded innocent Thursday to multiple counts of wire fraud and making a false statement on a passport application.

Simon Ang is accused of failing to disclose participation in Chinese government “talent plans” and ties to Chinese companies when applying for NASA and U.S. Air Force research grants.

A 44-count indictment filed in U.S. District Court in Fayetteville states Ang “knowingly made materially fraudulent misrepresentations and omissions” on a 2016 NASA research grant application. The fraud led to wire transfers to UA accounts, the court document states.

Ang was arrested May 8 and released to home detention on May 29 on a $200,000 bond. After his arrest, UA suspended him without pay, and he was terminated on July 2, a university spokesman has said.

Ang joined UA’s faculty in 1988 and was director of the university’s High Density Electronics Center, or HiDEC.

Drew Ledbetter, a Fayetteville attorney representing Ang, had not responded to emails and phone messages seeking comment on the indictment as of Friday night.