Former university professor indicted for theft of grant funds

CLARKSBURG, WEST VIRGINIA – Xinjian “Kevin” He, a former West Virginia University professor, has been indicted on two counts of federal program fraud.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Mr. He, age 41, was a professor in the University’s engineering department and allegedly embezzled federal grant funding, using the money to purchase clothing, furniture, home goods, and electronics for his personal use.

The indictment was returned in November of 2020 but remained sealed because the defendant fled the country and wasn’t arrested until September 26, 2023, when he entered the United States from Canada and was apprehended in New York.

At a hearing Monday in Clarksburg federal court, a motion by the U.S. Attorney’s Office to detain Mr. He pending trial due to the risk of flight was granted.

The defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. If convicted, the defendant faces up to 10 years in prison for each count of fraud.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Wagner is prosecuting the case on behalf of the government. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General and the WVU Police Department investigated.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael John Aloi presided over today’s proceedings.

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