On February 15, 2018, Professor Ning Xi (席宁), a world-renowned expert in robotics, was arrested and charged by the U.S. government for defrauding Michigan State University (MSU) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) with false expense claims of hundreds of thousands of dollars. He was indicted on October 24, 2018.
On July 11, 2019, the U.S. District Court Chief Judge for the Western District of Michigan ordered the dismissal of the Xi case with prejudice. The government filed a motion to dismiss the indictment “for the reason that the jury deadlocked after an eight-day trial and the Government does not reasonably expect that the proofs would meaningfully change in a retrial of this matter or that retrial would produce a different result.”
According to media report, Professor Xi, a Chinese national and U.S. permanent resident, started work at MSU in 1997. He then served as the founding head of the department of mechanical and biomedical engineering at City University of Hong Kong (CUHK) between 2011 and 2013 but returned to MSU the following year. He resigned from MSU in 2015.
According to the indictment and media reports, MSU had alleged Xi violated its policy by accepting a second tenured position at CUHK, and said he was uncooperative when confronted. MSU and IEEE then reviewed Xi’s travel reimbursements and alleged that many were fabricated. Professor Xi's lawyer wrote in a statement that "Dr. Xi submitted travel reimbursement requests to MSU and IEEE for the sole purpose of being reimbursed for air travel expenses that he incurred as a result of his MSU and IEEE-related travel.”
Hong Kong University announced in January 2016 that Professor Xi became its new Chair Professor of Robotics and Automation. Prof. Xi has published more than four hundred technical papers in professional journals and conferences.
席宁教授，一位世界知名的机器人专家。2018年2月15日，席宁教授由于被美国政府指控诈骗密歇根州立大学 (MSU) 和电气和电子工程师学会 (IEEE) 数十万美元的报销费用而遭到逮捕。他于2018年10月24日被起诉。