US drops fraud charges against Huawei chief executive

Prosecutors for New York’s Eastern District announced in court on Friday that they will drop charges against the chief financial officer of Chinese telecom giant Huawei Technologies and an extradition request to detain her if she complies with a deferred prosecution agreement.

Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, admitted she tried to defraud a US financial institution by misrepresenting her company’s ties to Iran in an effort to avoid US sanctions on Iran.

In the factual statement, in which Meng took responsibility, she told a financial institution that Huawei had “normal business cooperation” with Iran-based company Skycom, when in reality Huawei controlled Skycom and that “Skycom employees in reality Huawei- employees were”. She admitted to concealing the nature of Huawei’s relationship with Skycom and Skycom’s violation of US sanctions.

Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies Co., center, leaves her home in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, on Friday, September 24, 2021. / Credit: Jimmy Jeong/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies Co., center, leaves her home in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, on Friday, September 24, 2021. / Credit: Jimmy Jeong/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Meng first charged in 2018, was arrested in 2018 on an extradition warrant in Canada and has been confined to that country while waging her legal battle in the US

She was detained the same day former President Trump and Xi Jinping met at Argentina’s Group of 20 Summit of World Leaders. had just agreed to a ceasefiree in their trade war.

Relations between the US and China have been fraying for years, and that relationship continues to pose a challenge to President Biden, who sees China as a competitor, not an adversary. He just got with Xi . spoken about 90 minutes last week, but he and Xi have not yet had a face-to-face meeting. It’s been seven months since Mr Biden’s inauguration, and he still hasn’t secured a China trade policy, and many of the tariffs enacted by the Trump administration remain in effect.

Meng appeared remotely from Canada before Judge Anne Donnelly in the Eastern District of New York, where she and prosecutors signed the Deferred Prosecution Agreement.

As part of the agreement, Meng will be released on bail as the US withdraws its request to Canada to extradite Meng under the US charges.

This provision is likely to allow Meng to return to her home country of China, where she can serve the remainder of the deferred prosecution agreement before the charges are dropped.

In court on Friday, Meng pleaded not guilty to the charges in a third replacement charge filed against her, including bank and bank fraud and conspiracy to commit those acts. However, she did agree that a factual statement describing her actions accurately summarizes her business dealings.

If Meng complies with the conditions for her release, including that neither she nor her lawyers make any public statements that contradict the factual statement, the Justice Department – in accordance with the Deferred Prosecution Agreement – will dismiss the charges against her. Dec 1, 2022.

If she violates the agreement, prosecutors say Meng could face charges.

Huawei, the world’s largest supplier of networking equipment used by telephone and Internet companies, is also accused in the US of conspiring to steal trade secrets.