ALBUQUERQUE – Turab Lookman, 67, of Sante Fe, and a former scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), pleaded guilty today in federal court in Albuquerque to a charge of making a false statement to a government investigator about his involvement in the Thousand Talents Program, an initiative by the Chinese government to recruit people with access to and knowledge of foreign technology and intellectual property.
A grand jury previously indicted Lookman May 22, 2019, on three counts of making false statements to the federal government.
In his plea agreement, Lookman admitted to lying June 6, 2018 to a counterintelligence investigator from LANL. The investigator asked Lookman if he had been recruited by or applied for a job with the Thousand Talents Program. Lookman knowingly made a false statement by answering “no” when he knew that he had in fact been recruited by, applied for, and been accepted for participation in the Thousand Talents Program for monetary compensation.
Lookman is out of custody awaiting sentencing. He faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The FBI investigated this case with support from LANL. Assistant U.S. Attorney George C. Kraehe is prosecuting the case.