Chinese researcher at UCLA arrested, accused of destroying evidence

Local news

A visiting researcher at UCLA has been arrested and charged with destroying evidence, the latest Chinese national to face accusations in U.S. courts of trying to conceal ties to China’s military or government institutions.

The FBI began investigating Guan Lei in July, suspecting he had committed visa fraud and possibly transferred “sensitive software or technical data” from UCLA, where he studied machine-learning algorithms in the school’s mathematics department, to “high-ranking” officials in the Chinese military, an FBI agent wrote in an affidavit.

Guan, 29, isn’t charged with those crimes. Instead he’s accused of destroying evidence after agents, staking out his apartment in Irvine, saw him pull a computer hard drive from his sock and throw it into a trash bin, Agent Timothy D. Hurt wrote in the affidavit.

Guan discarded the damaged drive days after being interviewed by investigators and attempting to board a flight back to China, Hurt wrote.

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