MOUNT PLEASANT — Thieves broke into the dormant GenPhar biottech building and stripped it of nearly $500,000 worth of copper wiring, according to the company’s founder.

Jian-Yun Dong said thieves recently burglarized his firm’s building and took all of its copper wiring, ruining the electrical and air conditioning systems.

“They caused massive damage,” he said.

Mount Pleasant police could not immediately be reached for comment on their investigation of the theft.

This three-story, $33 million building once held the promise of high-paying jobs in a field that could change the very face of world health care. Now, it sits empty and idle behind Oakland Plantation, mired in allegations of fraud and theft.

A bank is looking to foreclose on the place — if the federal government doesn’t snatch it up first to recoup millions of dollars in missing grant money GenPhar received to research vaccines to fight Ebola, dengue fever, Marburg virus and other deadly diseases.

Dong, 54, is accused of fleecing the government out of $3.6 million and illegally funneling donations to a key supporter in the U.S. Senate. He denies the charges and maintains he is being persecuted for simple bookkeeping errors and innoncent mistakes.

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