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Justice Department files charges against tech giant Huawei

29 January, 2019, 05:00 | Author: Sara Gill
  • Conservatives slam Liberals for handling of Meng Wanzhou case

The U.S. Department of Justice has announced 13 criminal charges against the Chinese telecom giant Huawei, its CFO Meng Wangzhou, and its affiliates in the U.S. and Hong Kong.

Meng was arrested in early December 2018 by Canadian authorities at the request of the USA over allegations that she had committed fraud in sidestepping sanctions.

Acting U.S. attorney general Matthew Whitaker said Monday that a grand jury in NY had recommended the charges.

The US Justice Department has unveiled more than 20 charges against the Chinese telecommunications company Huawei, its chief financial officer and two affiliates. As a result of that claim, it was able to borrow money from US banks.

Prosecutors accuse Huawei of a long-running scheme, which started in 2007, to deceive numerous global banks and the us government regarding the company's business activities in Iran, a DOJ press release stated.

Due to alleged "misrepresentations by Huawei", the Department of Justice claims that U.S. banks maintained banking relationships with Huawei, and that these banks could have suffered criminal and civil penalties for processing transactions that were in violation of United States regulations and law.

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

Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, FBI Director Christopher Wray and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen announced the charges on Monday afternoon in Washington. Monday's announcement of criminal charges "is certainly not a propitious sign for US-China trade tensions and could hamper prospects for even a partial deal in the coming weeks", said Eswar Prasad, an economics professor and China expert at Cornell University. Both he and Federal Bureau of Investigation director Christopher Wray proffered thanks to their Canadian counterparts for their help and, in Whitaker's words, "their steadfast commitment to the rule of law". Huawei USA and its parent company are also charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice.

Meng's detention was also marked last month by President Donald Trump's public musings about the possibility that the case might help the U.S.in its trade negotiations with China.

The long-simmering dispute between the U.S. government and Huawei reached a boil today (Jan. 28), as federal prosecutors filed charges against the Chinese phone maker alleging fraud and trade secret theft.Credit: ShutterstockThe charges come from separate cases filed in U.S. District Courts in NY and Washington, respectively.

The company's US branch is also accused of stealing trade secrets and equipment from cellphone provider T-Mobile USA. Charges listed in the Washington State indictment against Huawei Device Co., Ltd. and Huawei Device Co. Meng is out on bail in Vancouver and her case is due back in court Tuesday as she awaits extradition proceedings to begin.

Meng, 46, the daughter of the company's founder, was arrested in Canada Dec. 1 on allegations that she committed fraud to sidestep sanctions against Iran.

Beijing and Washington are engaging in high-level talks this week as part of negotiations meant to walk back trade tensions between the globe's two largest economies.



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