A former scientist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory where U.S. nuclear weapons are designed was sentenced to probation and a fine for lying to an Energy Department counterspy operation about his recruitment by the Chinese government.
Turab Lookman, 68, of Santa Fe, New Mexico could have been imprisoned but instead was given five years’ probation and fined $75,000 for hiding his application to join China’s “Thousand Talents” program to recruit foreign scientists.
Mr. Lookman was indicted in May 2019 on three counts of lying about the recruitment effort.
He was charged with not revealing on a 2017 security questionnaire that he had been asked by a Chinese agent to join the talent recruitment program. A year later, he denied when asked by a Los Alamos counterintelligence official if he had been recruited by China for work with a university or other academic post. A third count involved lying to another federal investigator about the recruitment.
In January, Mr. Lookman pleaded guilty to one count of lying about his contacts with China. Two other charges were dropped. He could have faced up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.