PHILADELPHIA — A university professor in Pennsylvania has been sentenced to a year and a day in prison on a conviction of defrauding NASA by letting graduate students and researchers do all the work on a $700,000 project.
U.S. District Court Judge Harvey Bartle III also ordered Yujie Ding on Wednesday to pay a fine of $3,000 and restitution of $72,000. His wife, Yuliya Zotova, was sentenced to three months in prison.
Authorities said the Lehigh University engineering professor and his wife told NASA that their startup company ArkLight would develop a cutting-edge sensor used to track climate change. Instead, prosecutors alleged, they used the company “as a front to funnel federal grant money to themselves for research performed by students and others.”
Jurors convicting the couple of six of 10 fraud counts.