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Former UA professor pleads guilty to lying to FBI nagents about patents in China

A former University of Arkansas professor pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents about patents he had in China, which went against his contract with the university.
Credit: KFSM
Simon Saw-Teong Ang

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — A former University of Arkansas (UA) professor pleaded guilty to one count of lying to the FBI about the existence of patents for his inventions in the People's Republic of China (PRC). 

According to the district attorney's office, Simon Saw-Teong Ang, 61, of Fayetteville, pleaded guilty Friday, Jan. 21, to count 58 on a Superseding Indictment, charging him with making a materially "false and fictitious" statement to an FBI Special Agent. 

Court documents state that 24 patents filed in the PRC bear Ang's name or Chinese birth name. 

The UA requires employees to promptly furnish "full and complete" disclosures inventions. The university policy states that it, not the individual, 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." 

The DA's office says Ang did not disclose his Chinese patents to the university and when interviewed by an FBI agent, lied about his involvement with the inventions. Records indicate 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.

Ang faces a maximum of five years in prison and will be sentenced in about four months. 

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