US reveals several criminal charges against Chicom telecom company and senior officials
U.S. authorities unsealed a wave of criminal charges Monday against a Chinese telecom giant, its affiliates and one of its top executives who has been detained in Canada, alleging that the company defrauded banks, stole trade secretsand tried to obstruct justice. The move is almost certain to stoke tensions between Washington and Beijing.There is a suspicion in Washington that the Chicom government is also involved in the espionage effort. Their actions since the arrest of Meng suggests it is more than just a commercial enterprise. Some believe it to be an integral part of a Chinese Communist intelligence operation masquerading as a business enterprise to give it access to information in countries around the world.
Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn, New York, and Seattle brought the charges against Huawei and its chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, who has been in Canadian custody since last month. Huawei’s affiliates Skycom and Huawei Device USA also were included in indictments unsealed Monday.
Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, flanked by two cabinet secretaries and FBI Director Christopher Wray, said the misconduct goes "to the top of the company."
“The behavior in both those cases alleged more than just rogue employees,” Whitaker said. “These are very serious actions by a company that appears to be using corporate espionage and sanctions violations to enhance potentially not only their bottom line but also to compete in the world economy. This is something the United States will not stand for."
Prosecutors revealed two criminal cases targeting the company on Monday.
A 10-count indictment unsealed Monday in Seattle charged Huawei Device Co. Ltd. and Huawei Device Co. USA with theft of trade secrets conspiracy, attempted theft of trade secrets, seven counts of wire fraud, and one count of obstruction of justice.
The indictment charged Huawei with obstruction involving the brazen theft of robotic technology from Bellevue, Washington, based T-Mobile USA.
The acting attorney general asserted that the company spirited potential witnesses out of the country in an alleged attempt to thwart the government’s investigation.
“In pursuit of their commercial ambitions, Huawei relies on dishonest business practices that contradict the economic principles that have allowed American companies and the United States to thrive,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said.
Meng, who is being detained by Canadian authorities in Vancouver, is charged with bank fraud, wire fraud and related conspiracy counts.