© Daniel B PIXABAY General | March 18, 2019
Huawei pleads not guilty in U.S. District Court
The ongoing saga of telecommunications giant Huawei and the U.S. Government continues, as the company pleaded not guilty in federal court in Brooklyn last week to a 13-count indictment.
Among the charges that Huawei’s U.S. attorney James Cole entered the plea for are bank and wire fraud, violating sanctions against Iran and obstructing justice. As previously reported in multiple news outlets, Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou was arrested in December in Canada on charges related to the indictment, which was just unsealed in January. She is claiming innocence and fighting extradition. Meng and Huawei are accused of conspiring to defraud HSBC and other banks by misrepresenting Huawei’s relationship with Skycom Tech Co Ltd, a suspected front company that operated in Iran. Huawei maintains that Skycom was a local business partner, but the U.S. is claiming the company was an unofficial subsidiary used to conceal Huawei’s Iran business, and is arguing that Huawei used Skycom “to obtain embargoed U.S. goods, technology and services in Iran, and to move money via the international banking system,” according to Reuters. Also included in the indictment are references to a story filed six years ago by Reuters, which detail Skycom’s plan to sell embargoed Hewlett-Packard computer equipment to an Iranian mobile phone operator. The reporting also cited Meng’s tenure on Skycom’s board of directors between February 2008 and April 2009. In December, President Trump told Reuters that he would intervene in the case if it would help secure a trade deal with Beijing. Meng’s lawyers contend she is being used as a pawn and that the allegations are political in nature.