By: Danielle McClellan
J. Reece Roth, a 70 year old retired University of Tennessee professor faces up to 160 years in prison and more than $1.5 million in fines for 18 counts of conspiracy, fraud and violating the Arms Export Control Act. Roth, an expert in plasma research, agreed to serve as a subcontractor on a US Air Force project which was awarded to Knoxville technology firm Atmospheric Glow Technologies Inc.(AGT) The project involved the development of advanced plasma actuators for use on the wings of Air Force drones, a defense munitions item.
Roth assigned two of his graduate students, Truman Bond an American and Xin Dai a Chinese foreign national, to work on the project with him. At first, Xin Dai was not allowed to view Truman Bond’s work to ensure that export laws were not broken. Soon after, Roth and Atmospheric Glow Technologies representative Daniel Max Sherman agreed that this was slowing the process and allowed the graduate students to work together and share all information. (more…)