NEW INFORMATION: Chinese researcher pleads guilty in Wis. drug case

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- A Chinese researcher accused of stealing a possible cancer-fighting compound from a Wisconsin medical school has pleaded guilty to a reduced charge.

Hua Jun Zhao was accused of stealing three vials of a research drug from the Medical College of Wisconsin. Prosecutors say he also downloaded academic research that he planned to pass off as his own in China.

As part of a deal, Zhao pleaded guilty Wednesday to accessing a computer without authorization. The charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

A Wisconsin research team was in the early stages of studying whether the drug could help kill cancer cells without damaging healthy ones.

Prosecutors say Zhao applied for research funding in China, claiming he had discovered the drug himself.
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MILWAUKEE (AP) -- A researcher accused of stealing a possible cancer-fighting compound from the Medical College of Wisconsin is expected to plead guilty to a reduced computer-related charge.

Hua Jun Zhao was accused of stealing three vials of the compound. Prosecutors say he also stole academic research that he planned to pass off as his own in China.

Zhao initially pleaded not guilty to tampering with a private computer and lying to a federal agent. Court records say he agreed to change his plea at a hearing set for Wednesday.

A plea agreement says Zhao will plead guilty to accessing a computer without authorization, punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Defense attorney Michelle Jacobs says she expects the hearing will conform to the plea agreement.


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