ALBUQUERQUE – Turab Lookman, 67, of Santa Fe, made an initial appearance in federal court today on charges of making false official statements about his involvement with a program established by the Chinese government to recruit people with access to and knowledge of foreign technology and intellectual property.
The FBI arrested Lookman yesterday after a grand jury indicted him on Wednesday on three counts of making false official statements about being recruited by and applying to participate in China’s Thousand Talents Program for personal compensation.
The indictment alleges that Lookman made false statements about his involvement with China’s Thousand Talents Program on an employment questionnaire, in a debriefing with a Los Alamos National Laboratory counterintelligence officer, and to an investigator from the National Background Investigation Bureau/Office of Personnel Management.
An indictment is only an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Lookman is in custody pending a detention hearing on Tuesday. He faces up to 5 years in prison if convicted.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated this case with support from Los Alamos National Laboratory. Assistant U.S. Attorney George C. Kraehe is prosecuting the case.