Professor, wife convicted of fraud in $700,000 NASA contract

A Pennsylvania university professor and his wife have been convicted of defrauding NASA by letting graduate students and researchers do all the work on a $700,000 project.

The Morning Call of Allentown reports that Lehigh University engineering professor Yujie (yew-jee) Ding and his wife, Yuliya (yewl-ya) Zotova, told NASA that their startup company would develop a sensor to track climate change.

The contract allowed some work to be done by Lehigh students, but prosecutors say they instead did all the work.

Defense lawyers argue that the research found in the couple’s Upper Saucon Township home shows the depth of their involvement.

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The couple was convicted Friday on six of 10 fraud counts after a trial in Philadelphia.

They face up to 20 years in prison at their March sentencing.

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