Ex-teacher to plead for defrauding Chinese students

MILWAUKEE (AP) — A former University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee professor has agreed to plead guilty to federal crimes related to the fraud of Chinese graduate students and visiting scholars.

The Journal Sentinel reported that prosecutors charged Yue Liu on Friday with wire fraud and conducting an illegal financial transaction. A plea agreement was also filed on Friday and invites him to plead guilty to both counts.

Liu, a professor of civil and environmental engineering, established a foundation in 2016 to help international students graduating from UW-Milwaukee with various expenses, according to court documents.

Students transferred $1.1 million to the foundation between 2016 and 2020. Liu used some of the money to pay for personal expenses and reimburse the university for research expenses. A relative also paid Liu to become a research assistant at the school, and several visiting scholars from China also paid him to spend time on campus.

Liu had been still working at the university since last year. UW-Milwaukee spokeswoman Michelle Johnson told the Journal Sentinel for Friday’s editions that he was no longer employed at the school.

Liu’s attorney, listed in online court records as Peter Zeidenberg, did not immediately respond to a message from The Associated Press on Friday evening.

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