Benton, Ill. – Dr. Mingqing Xiao, 60, of Makanda, Illinois, was convicted by a federal jury on
Wednesday, May 4, 2022, in connection with lying to federal authorities about a foreign bank
account in China in 2017, 2018, and 2019.
Dr. Xiao, a mathematics professor and researcher at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, was
convicted of three counts of Making a False or Fraudulent Statement to the Internal
Revenue Service (IRS) on his tax returns and one count of Failure to File a report of a Foreign
Bank Account (FBAR). Evidence presented at the trial established that Xiao opened a foreign bank
account at Ping An Bank in China in 2016 and received monthly deposits into the account from
Shenzhenalo University in Shenzhen, China, from 2016 to 2020. Some of the funds were linked to
additional sources in China. By 2020, Xiao had accumulated more than $100,000 in the Chinese
U.S. taxpayers are required to report the existence of any foreign bank account on their federal
income tax returns. In addition, individuals with funds in foreign accounts totaling
more than $10,000 at any time during a given year are required to file an FBAR with the
“There are foreign entities that exploit American universities and grant agencies,” said
U.S. Attorney Steven D. Weinhoeft. “To guard against this abuse, the National Science Foundation
(NSF) requires grant applicants to disclose any conflicting activities, including foreign
activities, as a condition of receiving federal funding. Further, all U.S. citizens are obligated
to disclose any foreign bank accounts they may have. The evidence established that Dr. Xiao
concealed foreign work and hid more than $100,000 of foreign assets in an account in China, and he
was properly prosecuted and held accountable.”
“Failing to disclose a foreign bank account and filing false tax returns demonstrates a lack
of truthfulness and an abdication of the duties of citizenship,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge
David Nanz. “Xiao received money from a Chinese employer and knowingly failed to report those
funds, thereby evading his income tax responsibilities. The FBI is committed to investigate and
bring to justice anyone who avoids their obligation to live by our nation’s laws.”
“As this verdict shows, when you fail to disclose a foreign bank account and submit false income
tax statements to the IRS, you are committing tax fraud,” said Darrell J. Waldon, Special Agent in Charge of the IRS-CI Washington DC Field Office. “Xiao’s acts of fraud and dishonesty
undermine the integrity of our system of taxation. Our agency will continue to uphold its mission
to investigate tax and financial crimes in order to uphold confidence in our tax system, holding
individuals accountable for their crimes.”
The court dismissed two additional counts against Xiao that charged wire fraud. In addition, Xiao
was found not guilty of a false statement charge. Those three charges were all related to alleged
fraud in connection with a grant Xiao obtained from the National Science Foundation.
The charge of making and subscribing false income tax returns provides for a sentence of up to
three years in prison, one year of supervised release and a $100,000 fine. The charge of failing
to file an FBAR provides for a sentence of up to five years in prison, three years of supervised
release, and a fine of $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based
upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. Sentencing is set before the
Honorable Staci M. Yandle on August 11, 2022.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation-Springfield Field Office and the
Internal Revenue Service—Criminal Investigations.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Peter Reed and Scott Verseman of the U.S.
Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Illinois and Trial Attorney Derek Shugert of the
National Security Division of the Department of Justice.