Published: Tue, January 29, 2019
Money | By Bruce West

US Files Multiple Criminal Charges Against Huawei

US Files Multiple Criminal Charges Against Huawei

Prosecutors also accuse Huawei of engaging in a concerted effort from 2012 to steal information about a T-Mobile phone-testing robot nicknamed "Tappy".

The indictments also claim that Huawei set up a shell company called Skycom to do business in Iran, in violation of economic sanctions imposed on Iran by the U.S.

Engadget has contacted Huawei for comment. The United States has embarked on a global campaign to block Huawei from providing the backbone of the next generation of wireless technology, known as 5G, saying the company poses risks to national security.

Meng is now free on bail in Vancouver as the US seeks her extradition.

The U.S. reimposed sanctions against Iran in August 2018.

Among the charges are accusations of bank and wire fraud, obstruction of justice and theft of technology from USA company T Mobile.

The charges against Meng and Huawei cite stories from Reuters in 2012 and 2013 that said Huawei's Skycom unit had sought to sell goods to Iran in violation of USA laws.

The 13-count indictment names Huawei, two Huawei affiliates, and Huawei CFO Wanzhou Meng. The criminal charges include wire fraud (seven counts), obstruction of justice, attempted theft of trade secrets, and conspiracy.

The Huawei case has set off a diplomatic spat with the three nations, which has threatened to complicate ties between the United States and Canada.

Huawei also maintains that it was an isolated incident that involved two employees who acted inappropriately. Huawei and Huawei USA are charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice related to the grand jury investigation in the Eastern District of NY.

Meng's arrest December 1 touched off a political furor marked by days of angry anti-Canada rhetoric from China's foreign ministry, culminating Sunday in the firing of John McCallum as Canada's ambassador to China. But Ross said Monday that the indictments are "wholly separate from our trade negotiations with China".

Furthermore, they say Huawei stole telecommunications technology, trade secrets and equipment from US cellphone provider T-Mobile USA, acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker told a news conference Monday.

The arrest of Meng, the daughter of Huawei's founder at Vancouver's airport, has in particular led to the worst relations between Canada and China since the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989. It was all in an effort to undermine United States sanctions, according to the Department of Justice.

"[Huawei] willfully conducted millions of dollars in transactions that were in direct violation of the [sanctions]", Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said in the press release.

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