SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A federal judge in California agreed Friday to release from jail a university researcher accused of lying about her ties to China’s military and Communist Party to gain access to the United States.
“You’re getting a huge break here,” U.S. Magistrate Judge Kendall Newman told Dr. Juan Tang during a Sacramento hearing, the Sacramento Bee reported.
Kendall said he was willing to allow Tang to be housed with a Chinese emigre who doesn’t know the woman but offered to put up $750,000 in home equity as bond, the Bee said.
It could take until late next week to complete the paperwork for the bond. Tang might yet be denied freedom from jail because the prosecutor is expected to ask another federal judge to review the decision, the paper said.
The former Chinese cancer researcher at the University of California Davis is charged with visa fraud. She has been held without bail at the Sacramento County Main Jail since July 23.
Tang falsely claimed to have no ties to China’s People’s Liberation Army-Air Force or the country’s Communist Party, authorities contend.
She was preparing to return to China in June when FBI agents showed up at her door to question her. They seized her passport. She was considered a fugitive after fleeing to the Chinese consulate in San Francisco for a month.
Tang was arrested by FBI agents when she left the consulate to visit a doctor, authorities said.
Tang is one of several Chinese researchers working at American universities who have faced criminal charges.
A University of California, Los Angeles researcher from China was charged with destroying evidence in a federal investigation, authorities said Friday.
Guan Lei, 29, of Alhambra, was charged with one federal count for allegedly throwing a destroyed hard drive into a dumpster outside of his apartment in order to thwart an FBI investigation of the researcher that began in July, according to an FBI affidavit filed with the criminal complaint earlier this week.
Guan is under investigation for the possible transfer of “sensitive software or technical data” to China’s military and its National University of Defense Technology, according to the affidavit.
The university is “suspected of procuring U.S.-origin items to develop supercomputers with nuclear explosive applications,” according to the affidavit.
The complaint said Guan also is being investigated for allegedly falsely denying his association with the Chinese military on his 2018 visa application.
Guan “later admitted that he had participated in military training and wore military uniforms” while at the National University of Defense Technology, according to the affidavit.
Guan is scheduled to be arraigned next month. It wasn’t immediately clear whether he had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.