New York folk reported a former University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) Chinese-American professor had signed a plea agreement in a federal wire fraud case after allegedly defrauding students at the university and obtaining over $1.1 million.
According to the US Department of Justice, Yue Liu, also known as Troy Liu, a former engineering professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, struck a plea deal on February 11th after being charged with wire fraud and engaging in an illicit monetary transaction. He allegedly received over $1.1 million from the scheme, with the money coming from students and visiting professors.
Court documents show that Yue Liu designed and implemented a fraudulent scheme beginning in approximately April 2016 and continuing through at least November 2020.
The essence of the scheme was to obtain money from international students admitted to the University of Wisconsin’s graduate programs through materially false promises and representations.
Liu told the international students to register for a program operated by an entity he controlled that would pay for the costs associated with their studies at the University of Wisconsin, including tuition and other fees.
The university does not have such a program, and according to the court, it has waived tuition for these students because they are research assistants.
Liu sent misleading letters about the program to students via email under false names and used what appeared to be the University of Wisconsin logo in the notes.
Liu did not use the students’ money to pay for their tuition and other expenses. Instead, he used some of the funds for personal purposes, including funding investment accounts and paying credit card fees.
To conceal the alleged plot, Liu set up a phony research agreement between the university and a Chinese company and utilized a portion of the funds to fund it.
According to a now-defunct faculty biography for Liu, he worked at the UWM since at least 2009.