Chinese researcher to be sentenced in Wisconsin case

A Chinese scientist is set to be sentenced on charges stemming from the theft of a research drug from a Wisconsin medical school.

Hua Jun Zhao pleaded guilty last month to a reduced charge of illegally downloading research data from the Medical College of Wisconsin, where he worked as a researcher. He’s scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday morning.

Prosecutors say the 41-year-old stole three vials of the drug, plus accompanying research, in hopes of passing them off as his own in China.

He faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

In a court filing last week, defense attorney Michelle Jacobs recommended a sentence of four months as time served, with perhaps a year of probation. She cites his clean record and his personal and professional reputation.