Former Ag Canada scientist appears in court

An internationally recognized federal research scientist based in Swift Current, Sask., appeared in court Dec. 13 after a 21-month investigation by the RCMP’s national security enforcement section.

Yantai Gan, 65, was charged with breach of trust, fraud over $5,000 and possession of the proceeds of crime over $5,000 on Nov. 19, 2019, after a search warrant was executed at the Agriculture Canada research centre.

A search warrant was also executed that day at Gan’s home in Swift Current and the Criminal Code charges were subsequently laid. According to RCMP, he was released on conditions until now; the release describes Gan as being from Kelowna.

An RCMP news release said the investigation had begun in February 2018.

Gan was hired by Agriculture Canada in February 1999 and the department said he is no longer employed there.

Gan is known for his work with pulses and received numerous accolades during his career. He received both his master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Manitoba and is known internationally as an expert in developing integrated cropping systems for dryland farming.

He received the Fellow of Crop Science Society of America, Fellow of Canadian Society of Agronomy, Gold Harvest award from Agriculture Canada and an Editor’s Citation of Excellence from the CSSA, according to an online biography.

Earlier in 2019 he was named a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.