A Pacifican who was a top NASA scientist has been sentenced to prison and ordered to pay a $100,000 fine after he lied to federal authorities about his participation in a Chinese program U.S. officials say was intended to recruit Americans in sensitive industries.

Meyya Meyyappan, 66, will serve 30 days in prison for lying to the FBI, NASA officials and investigators with the U.S. Attorney’s Office. He pled guilty to making false statements regarding his employment by a Chinese government-funded program that recruited individuals with access to foreign technologies and intellectual property. He made his plea in January in U.S. District Court in New York.

Meyyappan was the chief scientist for exploration technology at the Center for Nanotechnology at NASA’s Ames Research Center at Moffett Field in Mountain View. He was subject to restrictions and reporting requirements regarding, among other things, outside employment, travel and compensation. However, Meyyappan participated in China’s Thousand Talents Program, which is designed to woo those with access to sensitive U.S. information.

— from staff reports

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