Ebola Vaccine Researcher Convicted of Fraud in S.C.

     (CN) – A medical researcher who said he was developing an ebola vaccine at a facility outside Charleston, S.C. was convicted Tuesday of defrauding the federal government.
     Federal prosecutors accused Dr. Jian Yun Dong and two others of soliciting million of dollars in funds for vaccine research, but instead diverted most of the money to a commercial real estate project — the construction of a new headquarters for his business, GenPhar Inc.
     The proceeds of other federal grants were allegedly plowed into paying for lobbyists to secure even more funds, the government said.
     Testimony later established that about $6 million had been spent on the construction project, of which at least $3million dollars was improperly diverted grant money.
     But after a trial last November, a jury could not reach unanimous verdicts on all counts, setting the stage for a second trial in Charleston Federal Court in June.
     On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge David Nettles found all three defendants guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit grant fraud, wire fraud, theft of government property and providing false statements; one count of theft of government funds; and 22 counts of wire fraud.
     No date has been set for his sentencing.
     Dong did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment.

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