Huawei CFO’s US bank fraud charges will be dismissed

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U.S. prosecutors on Thursday asked a judge to dismiss bank fraud and other charges against Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies in China, whose 2018 arrest strained U.S.-China relations .

Meng reached an agreement with prosecutors last year to have the charges against her dismissed on December 1, 2022, four years from the date of her arrest in Canada on a US warrant, as Reuters first reported. .

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In the absence of information Meng violated the agreement, « the government respectfully moves to dismiss the third replacement indictment in this case involving defendant Wanzhou Meng, » the Brooklyn-based U.S. attorney wrote. Carolyn Pokorny, in a Dec. 1 letter to U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly.

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Huawei, a maker of telecommunications equipment that the United States considers a national security threat, remains charged in the case, which is pending in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, New York. No trial date has yet been set and a status conference is scheduled for February 7.

While Thursday’s decision was expected, it closes a chapter on a particularly tense phase in US-China relations that has also thrust Canada into the midst of a wider clash between the two superpowers.

Meng had been charged with bank fraud and other crimes for misleading global bank HSBC Holdings Plc about the company’s activities in Iran to obtain banking services in violation of US sanctions.

As part of her settlement — a deferred prosecution agreement — she admitted making false statements about the company’s Iranian activities during a 2013 meeting with a bank executive.

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Meng’s misrepresentations were in a statement of facts that she agreed was accurate and willful and would not contradict.

The charges against Huawei include everything from bank fraud to failing to comply with sanctions to conspiring to steal trade secrets from US tech companies and obstruct justice. He pleaded not guilty.

As a result of its alleged activities, Huawei was added to a US trade blacklist, barring US suppliers from doing business with the company.

The United States has also waged a global campaign against Huawei, warning that the Chinese government could use the company’s equipment for spying. Just this week, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission passed final rules banning new telecommunications equipment from Huawei.

Meng, the daughter of Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei, is now the company’s president and rotating vice president, as well as chief financial officer.

She flew to China from Canada on September 24, 2021, the day she made the deal. Two Canadians arrested in China shortly after his arrest were later released, and two American siblings who had been barred from leaving China were allowed to return home.

A lawyer for Meng declined to comment and a Huawei spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment. (Reporting by Karen Freifeld; Editing by Michael Perry)


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