Prosecutors said Meyyappan participated in the Thousand Talents Program, a Chinese government program to recruit people familiar with foreign technology and intellectual property, and held professorships at universities in China, South Korea and Japan.
Meyyappan concealed this work from NASA and the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, and falsely told investigators in an Oct. 27 interview he was not a member of the Thousand Talents Program and did not hold the professorship in China, prosecutors said.
NASA, or the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, oversees the U.S. civilian space program and space research. It had no immediate comment.
Prosecutors said Meyyappan joined NASA in 1996, and has since 2006 been chief scientist for exploration technology at its Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley.
Last January, the department charged Charles Lieber, the former chairman of Harvard University’s chemistry department, with lying about his involvement in the Thousand Talents Program and research funding that China awarded him.
Lieber has pleaded not guilty.