accountability, Canada, China, fraud, Hong Kong, Huawei, Huawei spying, Iran, Iran protests, Meng, Misleading Financial Institutions, North Korea, RICO, Skycom, Spying, spying on Iran protests, technology, theft of technology, Theft of trade secrets, trade secrets, US DOJ
It’s impossible to look at this and not draw the conclusion that Biden is owned by China, especially considering that he let other possible Chinese spies go free and return to China: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2021/08/04/biden-doj-dropped-cases-against-university-researchers-connected-to-chinese-military
Huawei’s CFO isn’t simply an executive. She is the the daughter of the founder of Huawei. She is also Deputy Chair of the Board of Directors: “Huawei is a Chinese company headquartered in Shenzhen, Guangdong, and a leading global provider of information and communications technology. Huawei, including its corporate subsidiaries and affiliates, employs more than 197,000 people and operates in over 170 countries and regions. Ms. Meng is a Chinese citizen and the daughter of Huawei’s founder, Ren Zhengfei, and since 2010 has served as Huawei’s Chief Financial Officer. Ms. Meng also serves as Deputy Chairwoman of Huawei’s Board of Directors….” https://www.justice.gov/opa/press-release/file/1436211/download
A superseding indictment, on February 13, 2020, added racketeering conspiracy and conspiracy to steal trade secrets to the charges against Huawei, Huawei subsidiaries and its CFO Wanzhou Meng, and seems to have been ignored in the so-called deferred prosecution, which is effectively a get out of jail free card:
“FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 13, 2020
Chinese Telecommunications Conglomerate Huawei and Subsidiaries Charged in Racketeering Conspiracy and Conspiracy to Steal Trade Secrets
Charges also Reveal Huawei’s Business in North Korea and Assistance to the Government of Iran in Performing Domestic Surveillance
A superseding indictment was returned yesterday in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, charging Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. (Huawei), the world’s largest telecommunications equipment manufacturer, and two U.S. subsidiaries with conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO)…. The 16-count superseding indictment also adds a charge of conspiracy to steal trade secrets stemming from the China-based company’s alleged long-running practice of using fraud and deception to misappropriate sophisticated technology from U.S. counterparts.
The indicted defendants include Huawei and four official and unofficial subsidiaries — Huawei Device Co. Ltd. (Huawei Device), Huawei Device USA Inc. (Huawei USA), Futurewei Technologies Inc. (Futurewei) and Skycom Tech Co. Ltd. (Skycom) — as well as Huawei’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Wanzhou Meng (Meng). The new superseding indictment also contains the charges from the prior superseding indictment, which was unsealed in January 2019…” (See the rest further down this blog post page).
According to ABC News: “Resolution of the case may give Beijing cover domestically to re-engage with the United States.“ https://abcnews.go.com/Business/us-enters-deferred-prosecution-agreement-detained-huawei-executive/story?id=80216600
In the “deferred prosecution agreement”, which is a get out of jail free agreement, because the accused returned to China, the CFO appears to have only admitted to part of the charges:
“FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, September 24, 2021
Huawei CFO Wanzhou Meng Admits to Misleading Global Financial Institution
Meng Enters into Deferred Prosecution Agreement to Resolve Fraud Charges
The Chief Financial Officer of Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., Wanzhou Meng, 49, of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), appeared today in federal district court in Brooklyn, entered into a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) and was arraigned on charges of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, bank fraud and wire fraud.
“In entering into the deferred prosecution agreement, Meng has taken responsibility for her principal role in perpetrating a scheme to defraud a global financial institution,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Nicole Boeckmann for the Eastern District of New York. “Her admissions in the statement of facts confirm that, while acting as the Chief Financial Officer for Huawei, Meng made multiple material misrepresentations to a senior executive of a financial institution regarding Huawei’s business operations in Iran in an effort to preserve Huawei’s banking relationship with the financial institution. The truth about Huawei’s business in Iran, which Meng concealed, would have been important to the financial institution’s decision to continue its banking relationship with Huawei.
Meng’s admissions confirm the crux of the government’s allegations in the prosecution of this financial fraud — that Meng and her fellow Huawei employees engaged in a concerted effort to deceive global financial institutions, the U.S. government and the public about Huawei’s activities in Iran.”
“This Deferred Prosecution Agreement will lead to the end of the ongoing extradition proceedings in Canada, which otherwise could have continued for many months, if not years,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Mark J. Lesko for the Justice Department’s National Security Division. “We are enormously grateful to Canada’s Department of Justice for its dedicated work on this extradition and for its steadfast adherence to the rule of law.”
“Financial institutions are our first line of defense in maintaining the safety and security of the U.S. financial system,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “That is why the law requires that companies who avail themselves of the U.S. financial system provide financial institutions with truthful information about their business operations. Meng Wanzhou, CFO of Huawei Technologies, admitted today that she failed to tell the truth about Huawei’s operations in Iran, and as a result the financial institution continued to do business with Huawei in violation of U.S. law. Our prosecution team continues to prepare for trial against Huawei, and we look forward to proving our case against the company in court.”
“Meng’s admissions are evidence of a consistent pattern of deception to violate U.S. law,” said Assistant Director Alan E. Kohler Jr. of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division. “The FBI will continue to aggressively investigate companies doing business in the United States when there are signs they behave with contempt for our laws.”
The Scheme to Defraud Financial Institutions
According to court documents, and as agreed to by Meng in the DPA’s statement of facts, Skycom Tech. Co. Ltd. (Skycom) was a Hong Kong company that primarily operated in Iran.
As of February 2007, Skycom was wholly owned by a subsidiary of Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. (Huawei), Hua Ying Management (Hua Ying). In November 2007, Hua Ying transferred its shares of Skycom to another entity that Huawei controlled, Canicula Holdings (Canicula).
At the time Hua Ying transferred its Skycom shares to Canicula, Meng was the Secretary of Hua Ying.
In February 2008, after Huawei transferred ownership of Skycom from Hua Ying to Canicula, Meng joined Skycom’s Board of Directors, which was comprised of Huawei employees. She served on the Board until April 2009. After Meng departed from Skycom’s Board, Skycom’s Board members continued to be Huawei employees, Canicula continued to own Skycom, and Canicula continued to be controlled by Huawei. As of August 2012, Huawei included Skycom among a list of “other Huawei subsidiaries” in Huawei corporate documents written in English.
Between 2010 and 2014, Huawei controlled Skycom’s business operations in Iran, and Skycom was owned by an entity controlled by Huawei. All significant Skycom business decisions were made by Huawei. Moreover, Skycom’s countrymanager – the head of the business – was a Huawei employee. Individuals employed by Skycom believed they worked for Huawei.
During the same time period, Huawei employees engaged with a U.K. staffing company to provide engineers in Iran to support Skycom’s work with Iranian telecommunications service providers. Negotiations and contracting on behalf of Skycom were conducted by Huawei employees.
To pay for these contractors, Huawei sent at least $7.5 million to the U.K. staffing company in a series of approximately 80 payments from Skycom’s bank accounts in Asia, including at a multinational financial institution (Financial Institution 1), to the U.K. staffing company’s account in the United Kingdom. The transactions were denominated in U.S. dollars and cleared through the United States.
In December 2012 and January 2013, various news organizations, including Reuters, reported that Skycom offered to sell “embargoed” equipment from a U.S. computer equipment manufacturer in Iran in potential violation of U.S. export controls law, and that Huawei had close ties with Skycom. In a statement to Reuters published in a December 2012 article, Huawei claimed that Skycom was one of its “major local partners” in Iran. Reuters reported that Huawei had further stated that “Huawei’s business in Iran is in full compliance with all applicable laws and regulations including those of the U.N., U.S. and E.U. This commitment has been carried out and followed strictly by our company. Further, we also require our partners to follow the same commitment and strictly abide by the relevant laws and regulations.”
In January 2013, a subsequent Reuters article reported that Meng served on the Board of Directors of Skycom between February 2008 and April 2009 and identified other connections between Skycom directors and Huawei. The article also quoted the following statement from Huawei: “The relationship between Huawei and Skycom is a normal business partnership. Huawei has established a trade compliance system which is in line with industry best practices and our business in Iran is in full compliance with all applicable laws and regulations including those of the UN. We also require our partners, such as Skycom, to make the same commitments.” This statement was incorrect, as Huawei operated and controlled Skycom; Skycom was therefore not Huawei’s business “partner.”
After these articles were published, Financial Institution 1 and other global financial institutions that provided international banking services to Huawei (collectively, the “Financial Institutions”), including U.S. dollar-clearing, made inquiries to Huawei in response to the above-described press reports. In early 2013, Huawei employees represented to the Financial Institutions that Skycom was just a local business partner of Huawei in Iran and that Skycom had not conducted Iran-related transactions using its accounts at the Financial Institutions.
To address the allegations in the news reports, Huawei requested an in-person meeting with a senior Financial Institution 1 employee. That meeting occurred on Aug. 22, 2013 in Hong Kong, at which time Meng met with an executive of Financial Institution 1 responsible for operations in the Asia Pacific region. During the meeting, Meng delivered a PowerPoint presentation written in Chinese, which was translated by an interpreter into English. Meng stated that she was using an interpreter to be precise in her language.
In her presentation, Meng stated, among other things, that Huawei’s relationship with Skycom was “normal business cooperation” and “normal and controllable business cooperation,” and she described Skycom as a “partner,” a “business partner of Huawei,” and a “third party Huawei works with” in Iran. Those statements were untrue because, as Meng knew, Skycom was not a business partner of, or a third party working with, Huawei; instead, Huawei controlled Skycom, and Skycom employees were really Huawei employees. It would have been material to Financial Institution 1 to know that Huawei controlled Skycom.
In addition, Meng stated that Huawei “was once a shareholder of Skycom” but had “sold all its shares in Skycom.” Those statements were untrue, because, as Meng knew, Huawei had “sold” its shares to an entity that Huawei controlled. Specifically, Huawei transferred Skycom shares from a Huawei subsidiary (Hua Ying) to another entity that was controlled by Huawei (Canicula). It would have been material to Financial Institution 1 to know that Skycom was transferred from one Huawei-controlled entity to another.
Finally, Meng stated that Huawei “operates in Iran in strict compliance with applicable laws, regulations and sanctions” and that “there has been no violation of export control regulations” by “Huawei or any third party Huawei works with.” These statements were untrue because Huawei’s operation of Skycom, which caused the Financial Institutions to provide prohibited services, including banking services, for Huawei’s Iran-based business while Huawei concealed Skycom’s link to Huawei, was in violation of the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control’s Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. Part 560. Moreover, between 2010 and 2014, Huawei caused Skycom to conduct approximately $100 million worth of U.S.-dollar transactions through Financial Institution 1 that cleared through the United States, at least some of which supported its work in Iran in violation of U.S. law, including $7.5 million for Iran-based contractors from the U.K. staffing company to do work in Iran.
At no point during or after the meeting did Meng, who was aware of Huawei’s public statements about Skycom in Reuters, retract or amend any of those statements. Moreover, Huawei’s Treasurer, who also attended the August meeting, did not correct or amend any of the statements made by Meng.
Shortly after the meeting between Meng and Financial Institution 1, Huawei prepared an English version of the PowerPoint presentation at Financial Institution 1’s request. Meng later arranged for a paper copy of that PowerPoint presentation to be delivered to the Financial Institution 1 executive she had met with in September 2013. The representations in the English version of the PowerPoint presentation closely tracked the ones Meng had made during the meeting.
After the meeting and subsequent to receipt of Meng’s PowerPoint presentation, Financial Institution 1 decided to continue its relationship with Huawei. The other Financial Institutions similarly continued their respective relationships with Huawei.
Under the terms of the DPA, Meng has agreed to the accuracy of a four-page statement of facts that details the knowingly false statements she made to Financial Institution 1. Meng also has agreed not to commit other federal, state or local crimes. If Meng breaches the agreement, she will be subject to prosecution of all the charges against her in the third superseding indictment filed in this case. The government also agreed to withdraw its request to the Ministry of Justice of Canada that Meng be extradited to the United States.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alexander A. Solomon, Julia Nestor, David K. Kessler, Sarah M. Evans and Meredith A. Arfa for the Eastern District of New York; Trial Attorneys Laura Billings and Christian Nauvel for the Criminal Division’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section; and Trial Attorneys Thea D. R. Kendler, David Lim and R. Elizabeth Abraham of the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section are prosecuting the case. Valuable assistance was provided by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brian Morris and Brendan King of the Eastern District of New York’s Civil Division and Associate Director John Riesenberg, Attaché Andrew Finkelman of U.S. Embassy Paris and former Trial Attorney Margaret O’Malley of the Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs.
Download Meng DPA and Statement of Facts
Counterintelligence and Export Control“ https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/huawei-cfo-wanzhou-meng-admits-misleading-global-financial-institution
“FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 13, 2020
Chinese Telecommunications Conglomerate Huawei and Subsidiaries Charged in Racketeering Conspiracy and Conspiracy to Steal Trade Secrets
Charges also Reveal Huawei’s Business in North Korea and Assistance to the Government of Iran in Performing Domestic Surveillance
A superseding indictment was returned yesterday in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, charging Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. (Huawei), the world’s largest telecommunications equipment manufacturer, and two U.S. subsidiaries with conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).
Brian A. Benczkowski, Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; John C. Demers, Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s National Security Division; Richard P. Donoghue, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York and Christopher A. Wray, Director, FBI, announced the charges.
The 16-count superseding indictment also adds a charge of conspiracy to steal trade secrets stemming from the China-based company’s alleged long-running practice of using fraud and deception to misappropriate sophisticated technology from U.S. counterparts.
The indicted defendants include Huawei and four official and unofficial subsidiaries — Huawei Device Co. Ltd. (Huawei Device), Huawei Device USA Inc. (Huawei USA), Futurewei Technologies Inc. (Futurewei) and Skycom Tech Co. Ltd. (Skycom) — as well as Huawei’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Wanzhou Meng (Meng). The new superseding indictment also contains the charges from the prior superseding indictment, which was unsealed in January 2019.
As revealed by the government’s independent investigation and review of court filings, the new charges in this case relate to the alleged decades-long efforts by Huawei, and several of its subsidiaries, both in the U.S. and in the People’s Republic of China, to misappropriate intellectual property, including from six U.S. technology companies, in an effort to grow and operate Huawei’s business.
The misappropriated intellectual property included trade secret information and copyrighted works, such as source code and user manuals for internet routers, antenna technology and robot testing technology. Huawei, Huawei USA and Futurewei agreed to reinvest the proceeds of this alleged racketeering activity in Huawei’s worldwide business, including in the United States.
The means and methods of the alleged misappropriation included entering into confidentiality agreements with the owners of the intellectual property and then violating the terms of the agreements by misappropriating the intellectual property for the defendants’ own commercial use, recruiting employees of other companies and directing them to misappropriate their former employers’ intellectual property, and using proxies such as professors working at research institutions to obtain and provide the technology to the defendants. As part of the scheme, Huawei allegedly launched a policy instituting a bonus program to reward employees who obtained confidential information from competitors. The policy made clear that employees who provided valuable information were to be financially rewarded.
Huawei’s efforts to steal trade secrets and other sophisticated U.S. technology were successful. Through the methods of deception described above, the defendants obtained nonpublic intellectual property relating to internet router source code, cellular antenna technology and robotics. As a consequence of its campaign to steal this technology and intellectual property, Huawei was able to drastically cut its research and development costs and associated delays, giving the company a significant and unfair competitive advantage.
When confronted with evidence of wrongdoing, the defendants allegedly made repeated misstatements to U.S. officials, including FBI agents and representatives from the U.S. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, regarding their efforts to misappropriate trade secrets. Similarly, the defendants engaged in obstructive conduct to minimize litigation risk and the potential for criminal investigations, including the very investigation that led to this prosecution.
The superseding indictment also includes new allegations about Huawei and its subsidiaries’ involvement in business and technology projects in countries subject to U.S., E.U. and/or U.N. sanctions, such as Iran and North Korea – as well as the company’s efforts to conceal the full scope of that involvement.
The defendants’ activities, which included arranging for shipment of Huawei goods and services to end users in sanctioned countries, were typically conducted through local affiliates in the sanctioned countries. Reflecting the inherent sensitivity of conducting business in jurisdictions subject to sanctions, internal Huawei documents allegedly referred to such jurisdictions with code names.
For example, the code “A2” referred to Iran, and “A9” referred to North Korea.
Huawei employees also allegedly lied about Huawei’s relationship to Skycom, falsely asserting it was not a subsidiary of Huawei. The company further claimed that Huawei had only limited operations in Iran and that Huawei did not violate U.S. or other laws or regulations related to Iran. In fact, the indictment alleges Skycom was Huawei’s unofficial subsidiary that, among other services, assisted the Government of Iran in performing domestic surveillance, including during the demonstrations in Tehran in 2009.
The charges in the superseding indictment are allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
The government’s investigation is ongoing. Individuals with knowledge of misconduct by Huawei, its subsidiaries, employees or agents should contact the FBI’s New York Field Office at 1-800-CALL-FBI.
The FBI’s New York Field Office, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations’ (HSI) New York Field Office, U.S. Department of Commerce Office of Export Enforcement’s (OEE) New York Field Office and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service’s (DCIS) Southwest and Northeast Field Offices are jointly conducting the investigation. Agents from the FBI, HSI and OEE offices in Dallas provided significant support and assistance. The government’s case is being handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, the Criminal Division’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section (MLARS) and the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section (CES).
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alexander A. Solomon, Julia Nestor, David K. Kessler and Sarah Evans, MLARS Trial Attorneys Laura Billings and Christian Nauvel and CES Trial Attorneys Thea D. R. Kendler and David Lim are in charge of the prosecution, with assistance provided by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brendan G. King of the Civil Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York and Trial Attorneys Margaret O’Malley and John Riesenberg of the Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs. Additional Criminal Division and National Security Division Trial Attorneys and Assistant U.S. Attorneys within U.S. Attorney’s Offices for the Northern District of Texas, the Northern District of Illinois, the Eastern District of Texas, the Western District of Washington and the Northern District of California have provided valuable assistance with various aspects of this investigation.
The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice. Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.
Download Huawei et al Third Superseding Indictment
Counterintelligence and Export Control”
“FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, January 28, 2019
Chinese Telecommunications Conglomerate Huawei and Huawei CFO Wanzhou Meng Charged with Financial Fraud
Huawei Device USA Inc. and Huawei’s Iranian Subsidiary Skycom Also Named Defendants |
Other Charges Include Money Laundering, Conspiracy to Defraud the United States, Obstruction of Justice and Sanctions Violations
BROOKLYN, N.Y. – A 13-count indictment was unsealed earlier today in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, charging four defendants, all of whom are affiliated with Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. (Huawei), the world’s largest telecommunications equipment manufacturer, with headquarters in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and operations around the world. The indicted defendants include Huawei and two Huawei subsidiaries — Huawei Device USA Inc. (Huawei USA) and Skycom Tech Co. Ltd. (Skycom) — as well as Huawei’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Wanzhou Meng (Meng).
The defendants Huawei and Skycom are charged with bank fraud and conspiracy to commit bank fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to violate and substantive violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Huawei and Huawei USA are charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice related to the Grand Jury investigation in the Eastern District of New York. Meng is charged with bank fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud.
Matthew G. Whitaker, Acting United States Attorney General, Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Brian A. Benczkowski, Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, John C. Demers, Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s National Security Division, Christopher A. Wray, Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Kirstjen Nielsen, Secretary, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and Wilbur Ross, Secretary, U.S. Department of Commerce, announced the charges.
“Today we are announcing that we are bringing criminal charges against telecommunications giant Huawei and its associates for nearly two dozen alleged crimes,” stated Acting Attorney General Whitaker. “As I told Chinese officials in August, China must hold its citizens and Chinese companies accountable for complying with the law. I’d like to thank the many dedicated criminal investigators from several different federal agencies who contributed to this investigation and the Department of Justice attorneys who are moving the prosecution efforts forward. They are helping us uphold the rule of law with integrity.”
“As charged in the indictment, Huawei and its subsidiaries, with the direct and personal involvement of their executives, engaged in serious fraudulent conduct, including conspiracy, bank fraud, wire fraud, sanctions violations, money laundering and the orchestrated obstruction of justice,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue. “For over a decade, Huawei employed a strategy of lies and deceit to conduct and grow its business. This Office will continue to hold accountable companies and their executives, whether here or abroad, that commit fraud against U.S. financial institutions and their international counterparts and violate U.S. laws designed to maintain our national security.” Mr. Donoghue thanked the FBI, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Department of Commerce Office of Export Enforcement and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service agents who are investigating this case for their tireless work and dedication.
“These charges lay bare Huawei’s blatant disregard for the laws of our country and standard global business practices,” stated FBI Director Wray. “Companies like Huawei pose a dual threat to both our economic and national security, and the magnitude of these charges make clear just how seriously the FBI takes this threat. Today should serve as a warning that we will not tolerate businesses that violate our laws, obstruct justice, or jeopardize national and economic well-being.”
“As charged in the indictment, Huawei and its Chief Financial Officer broke U.S. law and have engaged in a fraudulent financial scheme that is detrimental to the security of the United States,” stated U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Nielsen. “They willfully conducted millions of dollars in transactions that were in direct violation of the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations, and such behavior will not be tolerated. 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. I would like to thank ICE Homeland Security Investigations for their exceptional work on this case.”
“For years, Chinese firms have broken our export laws and undermined sanctions, often using the U.S. financial systems to facilitate their illegal activities,” stated U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Ross. “This will end. The Trump Administration continues to be tougher on those who violate our export control laws than any administration in history. I commend the Department’s Office of Export Enforcement, and our partners in the FBI, Justice Department, Department of Defense, and Department of Homeland Security for their excellent work on this case.”
* * * *
Overview of the Indictment
The charges in this case relate to a long-running scheme by Huawei, its CFO, and other employees to deceive numerous global financial institutions and the United States government regarding Huawei’s business activities in Iran.
Beginning in 2007, Huawei employees misrepresented Huawei’s relationship to an unofficial subsidiary in Iran called Skycom, and as a result falsely claimed that Huawei had only limited operations in Iran and that Huawei did not violate U.S. or other laws or regulations related to Iran. Most significantly, after news publications in late 2012 and 2013 disclosed that Huawei operated Skycom as an unofficial subsidiary in Iran and that Meng had served on the board of directors of Skycom, Huawei employees, and in particular Meng, continued to lie to Huawei’s banking partners about Huawei’s relationship with Skycom, falsely claiming that Huawei had sold its interest in Skycom to an unrelated third party in 2007 and also that Skycom was merely Huawei’s local business partner in Iran. In reality, Skycom was Huawei’s longstanding Iranian subsidiary, and Huawei orchestrated the 2007 sale to appear as an arm’s length transaction between two unrelated parties although Huawei actually controlled the company that purchased Skycom.
As part of this scheme to defraud, Meng personally made a presentation in August 2013 to an executive of one of Huawei’s major banking partners in which she repeatedly lied about the relationship between Huawei and Skycom.
Huawei relied on its global banking partners for banking services that included processing U.S.-dollar-denominated transactions through the United States. U.S. laws and regulations generally prohibited these banks from providing U.S.-dollar transactions related to Iran through the United States. The banks could have faced civil or criminal penalties for processing transactions that violated U.S. laws or regulations.
Relying on the repeated misrepresentations by Huawei, banking partners continued their banking relationships with Huawei. One banking partner cleared more than $100 million worth of Skycom-related transactions through the United States between 2010 and 2014.
As a further part of this scheme to defraud, Huawei and its principals repeatedly lied to U.S. government authorities about the relationship between Huawei and Skycom in submissions to the U.S. government, and in responses to government inquiries. For example, Huawei provided false information to the U.S. Congress regarding whether Huawei’s business in Iran violated any U.S. law. Similarly, as indicated in the indictment, in 2007 — months before Huawei orchestrated the purported sale of Skycom to another Huawei-controlled entity — Huawei’s founder falsely stated to FBI agents that Huawei did not have any direct dealings with Iranian companies and that Huawei operated in compliance with all U.S. export laws.
After one of Huawei’s major global banking partners (identified as Financial Institution 1 in the indictment) decided to exit the relationship in 2017 because of Huawei’s risk profile, Huawei allegedly made additional misrepresentations to several of its remaining banking partners in an effort to maintain and expand those relationships. Huawei and its principals are alleged to have repeatedly and falsely claimed that Huawei had decided to separate from Financial Institution 1, and not that Financial Institution 1 had decided to cause the separation. On the basis of these misrepresentations, those other banking partners continued their banking relationships with Huawei.
In 2017, when Huawei became aware of the government’s investigation, Huawei and its subsidiary Huawei USA tried to obstruct the investigation by making efforts to move witnesses with knowledge about Huawei’s Iran-based business to the PRC, and beyond the jurisdiction of the U.S. government, and by destroying and concealing evidence of Huawei’s Iran-based business that was located in the United States.
In December 2018, Canadian authorities apprehended Meng in Vancouver pursuant to a provisional arrest warrant issued under Canadian law. The U.S. government is seeking Meng’s extradition to the United States.
The charges in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The indictment unsealed today is assigned to U.S. District Judge Ann M. Donnelly of the Eastern District of New York.
The government’s investigation is ongoing. Individuals and companies with information about additional misconduct by these defendants or their related entities and principals should contact their local FBI field office.
The investigation is being jointly conducted by the FBI’s New York Field Office, HSI’s New York Field Office, OEE’s New York Field Office, and DCIS’s New York Resident Agency. Agents from the FBI, HSI, OEE, and DCIS offices in Dallas provided significant support and assistance. The government’s case is being handled by the National Security and Cybercrime and Business and Securities Fraud Sections of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, Justice Department’s Criminal Division’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section (MLARS), and Justice Department’s National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section (CES).
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alexander A. Solomon, Julia Nestor, David K. Kessler, Kaitlin Farrell, and Sarah Evans, MLARS Trial Attorneys Laura Billings and Christian Nauvel, and CES Trial Attorneys Thea D. R. Kendler and David Lim are in charge of the prosecution, with assistance provided by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Penley of the Northern District of Texas, Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brian Morris and Brendan King of the Eastern District of New York’s Civil Division and Trial Attorneys Andrew Finkelman and Margaret O’Malley of DOJ’s Office of International Affairs. Additional Criminal Division and National Security Division Trial Attorneys and Assistant U.S. Attorneys within U.S. Attorney’s Offices for the Northern District of Texas, the Eastern District of Texas, and the Northern District of California have provided valuable assistance with various aspects of this investigation.
Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd.
Huawei Device USA Inc.
Skycom Tech Co. Ltd.
Meng Wanzhou, also known as “Cathy Meng” and “Sabrina Meng”
Residence: People’s Republic Of China
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 18-CR-457 (AMD)
 The indictment charges other individuals who have not yet been apprehended and whose names will not be publicly released at this time.
Download Huawei et al. Indictment .pdf
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
Office of the Associate Attorney General
USAO – New York, Eastern
United States Attorney’s Office
Updated January 28, 2019”