Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou’s US bank fraud charges to be dismissed

Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou’s US bank fraud charges to be dismissed

2022-12-02 0 By Huawei     GOOGLE NEWS    

US prosecutors asked a judge on Thursday (December 1st) to dismiss bank fraud and other charges against Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Chinese Huawei Technologies, whose arrest in 2018 has strained relations between the US and China.

Meng struck a deal with prosecutors last year to drop the charges against him on December 1, 2022, four years after he was arrested in Canada on a US arrest warrant, as Reuters first reported.

Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Carolyn Pokorny wrote in a December 1 letter to U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly that “the government respectfully rejects the third indictment in this case against defendant Wanzhou Meng,” without any knowledge of Meng’s breach of the agreement.

Huawei, a telecommunications equipment manufacturer that the US considers a national security threat, is still indicted in the case pending in US 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 move is 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 conflict between the two superpowers.

Meng was charged with bank fraud and other crimes for deceiving global bank HSBC Holdings Plc about the company’s business in Iran in order to obtain banking services in violation of US sanctions. As part of his deal—a deferred prosecution agreement—he admitted that the company had made false statements about his Iranian business in a 2013 meeting with a bank executive.

Meng’s baseless statements were in a statement of facts, which he admitted was true and voluntary and would not contradict. Charges against Huawei include everything from bank fraud to breaching sanctions to conspiracy to steal trade secrets and obstruction of justice from US tech companies. He pleaded not guilty.

Following its alleged activities, Huawei was added to the US trade blacklist, which restricts 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 to spy on it. Just this week, the US Federal Communications Commission passed final rules banning Huawei’s new telecommunications equipment.

Meng, the daughter of Huawei’s founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei, currently serves as the company’s rotating president and vice president and chief financial officer. She flew from Canada to China on September 24, 2021, the day she made the deal. Two Canadians arrested in China shortly after their detention were released, and the two American brothers, who were prevented from leaving China, were allowed to fly home.

Meng’s lawyer declined to comment, and a Huawei spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Source: Reuters/gs