On January 28, 2019, indictments were unsealed in Seattle and Brooklyn against Chinese telecommunications conglomerate Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., a number of Huawei affiliates (collectively, “Huawei”), and Huawei’s CFO in connection with two separate alleged fraud schemes. The indictment in Seattle charged two Huawei affiliates with theft of trade secrets, attempted theft of trade secrets, wire fraud, and obstruction of justice. According to the indictment, between 2012 and 2014, Huawei undertook concerted, company-wide efforts to steal information regarding a phone-testing robot developed by a major U.S. cellular service provider. That U.S. company discovered the alleged thefts and threatened to sue Huawei, at which point Huawei is alleged to have produced a report falsely blaming the incidents on rogue employees. The indictment alleges that Huawei in fact offered bonuses to employees for stealing information from other companies and turning it over to Huawei.
The indictment in Brooklyn charged Huawei affiliates and Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou (“Meng”) with numerous counts of conspiracy, bank fraud, wire fraud, and violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act in connection with an alleged scheme to defraud several global financial institutions and the U.S. government about Huawei’s activities in Iran. According to the indictment, Huawei employees made numerous false statements about Iranian affiliate Skycom Tech. Co. Ltd. to conceal Huawei’s continued control over the company, maintain banking relationships, and ensure continued processing of U.S. dollar-denominated transactions involving Skycom, despite Iran-related economic sanctions. The indictment also accused defendants of repeatedly lying about the company’s business activities in Iran in response to U.S. government inquiries, destroying evidence, and moving potential witnesses to China after becoming aware of the U.S. government’s investigation.
United States v. Huawei Device Co., Ltd., No. 19-cr-10 (W.D. Wash.)
DOJ Press Release
United States v. Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd., 19-cr-457 (E.D.N.Y.)
DOJ Press Release