Huawei charged with fraud and money laundering

A Huawei Technologies Co. logo sits on display in a store

The Justice Department unsealed criminal charges on Monday against Chinese tech giant Huawei, a top company executive and several subsidiaries, alleging the company stole trade secrets, misled banks about its business and violated USA sanctions. The indictment is available here and below.

The cases accuse the company of everything from bank and wire fraud to obstructing justice and conspiring to steal trade secrets from T-Mobile US Inc.

Acting US Attorney General Matthew Whitaker led a news conference this afternoon, during which he explained that a grand jury in Seattle had indicted two affiliates of Huawei on 10 federal crimes related to accusations that Huawei stole technology from T-Mobile. Acting Attorney General Matthew G. Whitaker confirmed that the DOJ will file an extradition request by the deadline of January 30.

The indictment, based on 23 grand jury allegations, accuses Huawei and Meng - the company's chief financial officer and daughter of its founder - of misrepresenting their ownership of a Hong Kong-based subsidiary between 2007 and 2017 to circumvent USA sanctions against Iran.

The announcement came as US officials are scheduled to meet with representatives of the Chinese government this week to try broker an elusive trade agreement and end the prolonged tariff war between the two economic giants. "It has been clear for some time that Huawei poses a threat to our national security, and I applaud the Trump administration for taking steps to finally hold the company accountable", he said.

Meng, who has denied the charges, is now in Vancouver, staying in one of her family's homes, as she awaits a decision from a Canadian court on the USA extradition request.

Bad Timing for U.S.

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Huawei didn't respond immediately to requests for comment on the allegations.

Huawei allegedly wanted to build its own Tappy robot for testing phones before its handsets were sent to T-Mobile, so its engineers secretly took the robot's photos and measurements.

It arose from a multiyear investigation into potential violations by Chinese companies of US sanctions on Iran.

He said he was concerned about Huawei devices in United States telecommunications networks. She is the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei.

He reaffirmed that the U.S.is seeking extradition of Meng and would formally file for the extradition by Tuesday, Canada's deadline. Meanwhile, a grand jury in NY has also returned an indictment alleging 13 crimes committed by Huawei, its CFO, an affiliate in Iran and one of its subsidiaries in the US. "The Department of Homeland Security is focused on preventing nefarious actors from accessing or manipulating our financial system, and we will ensure that legitimate economic activity is not exploited by our adversaries".

Beginning in 2007, Huawei employees lied about the company's relationship to Iranian company Skycom, falsely claiming that it was not an affiliated with Huawei.

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