Huawei charged with 13 counts of bank, wire fraud, CFO Meng to appear in court

U.S. Department of Justice said bank and wire fraud are related to Huawei’s affiliate Skycom, a telecom equipment seller that operates in Iran

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) has officially sent its extradition request to Canada against Huawei’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou after announcing 13 criminal charges against the Chinese telecommunications giant, Meng, and its affiliates in the U.S. and Hong Kong.

Vancouver authorities arrested Meng on December 1st, 2018. She was subsequently granted bail.

On the evening of January 28th, Global News confirmed that the DOJ had submitted its request to formally begin the trial to extradite Meng.

Earlier that day, acting U.S. attorney general Matthew Whitaker said the charges against the company, Meng and its affiliates are of bank and wire fraud and are related to Huawei’s affiliate Skycom, a telecom equipment seller that operates in Iran.

Skycom is originally based in Huawei, and Whitaker alleges that it did business on behalf of Huawei in Iran.

“Huawei claimed Skycom was a separate company and not an affiliate and asserted all its business was in compliance with U.S. sanctions,” Whitaker said during a press conference.

The CBC, on January 28 indicated that Huawei released a statement of disappointment.

“The company denies that it or its subsidiary or affiliate have committed any of the asserted violations of U.S. law set forth in each of the indictments, is not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms. Meng, and believes the U.S. courts will ultimately reach the same conclusion,” Huawei’s statement said.

According to the DOJ documents, Meng is charged with bank fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy to commit the two crimes.

Huawei and Skycom are charged with several counts of bank and wire fraud. Huawei USA and its parent company are both also charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice.

According to the CBC, China’s Foreign Ministry has urged the U.S. to stop the “unreasonable suppression” of Chinese companies. It has asked to lift the arrest warrant against Meng.

According to the DOJ indictment documents, Huawei managed to clear more than $100 million between 2010 and 2014.

The DOJ said it also charged 10 charges of wire fraud, trade theft and obstruction of justice against two Huawei executives who tried to steal trade secrets. These executives have allegedly stolen robotic technology from U.S. telecommunications carrier T-Mobile.

Whitaker noted during the conference that these were not “rogue employees” and did not act on their own.

It’s important to note that in Canada, Huawei Canada has been in the country since 2008. It has been working with Bell and Telus to provide equipment to deploy 5G mobile network technology.

Meng is set to appear before the Canadian court on January 29th in Vancouver to discuss her bail terms.

Source: CBC, Department of Justice, Reuters

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