On August 9, a federal grand jury indicted Chief Executive Officer of Xigen LLC on charges associated with a scheme to defraud the United States.

Between 2005 and 2016, 59-year-old Zheng Geng, aka “Jason Geng,” of Vienna, Virginia, allegedly devised a plan to defraud the federal government by submitting fraudulent and false grant applications under the Small Business Innovation Research Program, which is aimed to promote American technological innovation.

According to the six-count indictment, Geng prepared illegal proposals for awards and subsequent reports, as well as related communications under the program. Geng utilized identities of people without their permission to endorse his grant applications or misrepresented their career positions in Xigen.

Geng is also accused of submitting false endorsements, which misrepresented active affiliations with several educational institutions, including Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Harvard University Medical School. He also budgeted funds for various subcontractors without them being aware of it and did not provide them with the budgeted funds.

The United States utilized the false information to approve SBIR grants and awards that totaled more than $1.8 million through the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and National Institutes of Health, according to court documents.

Gene, along with his family and associates utilized the rewarded funds for their own benefit.

“The NASA Office of Inspector General will continue to aggressively investigate those who undermine and defraud NASA programs and operations,” said Inspector General Martin. “The NASA OIG appreciate the efforts of the entire investigative and prosecution team during this multi-year investigation and we look forward to continued cooperation with our law enforcement partners in this and related matters.”

Geng faces a find up to $250,000 for wire fraud, a maximum 20-year prison sentence and a mandatory 2-year minimum consecutive sentence for each aggravated identity theft charge.