© US Department of Justice Electronics Production | January 29, 2019
US issues criminal charges against Huawei and its CFO
During a press event, the US Department of Justice announces that it is pursuing criminal charges against Chinese telecom giant Huawei; and the company’s CFO, Wanzhou Meng.
Acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker announced the criminal charges during the press event stating that; “First, I am announcing that a grand jury in Seattle has returned an indictment that alleges 10 federal crimes by two affiliates of telecommunications corporation Huawei Technologies.” The alleged conduct described in the indictment occurred from 2012 to 2014, includes an internal Huawei announcement that the company was offering bonuses to employees who succeeded in stealing confidential information from other companies, a press release from the DoJ reads. In 2012 Huawei reportedly began a concerted effort to steal information about a robot that T-Mobile used to test mobile phones. Huawei’s engineers allegedly violated confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements with T-Mobil in an effort to build their own robot. The engineers are said to have been secretly taking photos of the robot, measuring it, and even stealing a piece of it. Matthew Whitaker continues to to list a second string of charges agains the company, including its CFO, Wanzhou Meng. Meng is charged with bank fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracies to commit bank and wire fraud. “I am also announcing that a grand jury in New York has returned an indictment alleging 13 additional crimes committed by Huawei, its CFO, its affiliate in Iran, and one of its subsidiaries here in the United States. The criminal activity alleged in this indictment goes back at least 10 years and goes all the way to the top of the company,” Matthew Whitaker said. The two Huawei affiliates mention are Huawei Device USA Inc. (Huawei USA) and Skycom Tech Co. Ltd. (Skycom). Huawei and Skycom are charged with bank fraud and conspiracy to commit bank fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and conspiracy to violate IEEPA, and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Huawei and Huawei USA are charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice related to the grand jury investigation in the Eastern District of New York. Meng is charged with bank fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracies to commit bank and wire fraud. “These charges lay bare Huawei’s alleged blatant disregard for the laws of our country and standard global business practices,” said FBI Director Christopher A. Wray, in the announcement. “Companies like Huawei pose a dual threat to both our economic and national security, and the magnitude of these charges make clear just how seriously the FBI takes this threat."