Jian-Yun "John" Dong, a virologist at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, was charged with trying to make illegal campaign contributions upwards of $30,000 to Republican Senator Lindsey Graham. He is also accused of using government funds awarded to his company GenPhar for lobbying, travel, and other activities excluded by the grants.

According to reports by The Post and Courier, Senator Graham helped GenPhar secure $19.6 million starting in 2004, and an additional $1.3 million earmark last year for the company's research on dengue fever and the Ebola and Marburg viruses.  Dong allegedly used $3.6 million of that money for personal expenses and travel.

If convicted on all charges, Dong's maximum sentence would be 100 years in prison and millions of dollars in fines. His estranged wife and interim president at GenPhar, Danher Wang, is also named in the indictment and could face 15 years...

(Hat tip to ScienceInsider.)

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!
Already a member?