The U.S. government added theft conspiracy and racketeering to its list of pending charges against Huawei. The DOJ accused both the Chinese company and its top official of the said crimes, newly emerged court filings reveal.
Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou has been under house arrest in Canada since late 2018. Throughout that period, the executive claimed absolute innocence. Her legal team often described the Washington-sanctioned indictments as a political hit job, citing the fact Meng is the daughter of the conglomerate's founder Ren Zhengfei.
The 48-year-old purportedly defrauded banks in order to circumvent U.S. trade sanctions on Iran, according to 2019 court filings. The Justice Department now also claims it can prove her involvement in a long-standing conspiracy to commit trade secret theft.
The Huawei CFO participated in trade secret theft targeting the American tech industry over two decades. According to American prosecutors, the malevolent endeavor ultimately gave Huawei an unfair edge in the global market.
Router source code, interfacing solutions, and operating system manuals are among the list of technologies Huawei supposedly stole from U.S. firms, the new indictment reads. As for the racketeering claims, the DOJ relates those to Huawei's supposed efforts to circumvent the Trade Department's trade sanctions on Iran. The list of charges ends with alleged witness tampering and other attempts at obstructing justice.
This week's development adds no fewer than 16 charges to an already long list of accusations against Meng.
The case of Huawei's CFO: from cancer to conspiracy and racketeering
Meng's predicament constitutes a rather curious case involving everything from cancer to death sentences. The situation already evolved into one of the most high-profile diplomatic scandals in the 21st century.
While the timing of the charges against Meng coincides with an increase in political tensions between the U.S. and China, the allegations themselves appear to be far from meritless. After all, Huawei's long history of issues with the American government and stateside companies is a well-documented affair.
Whether that means Meng is a wrongly accused party, a liability to U.S. national security, or both, is up to debate. What's certain is that her legal troubles in the West are a massive hit to Huawei's North American ambitions.
Regardless, the Shenzen-based company is standing its ground. Its latest media comments reiterate that approach, claiming Huawei is merely a victim of Washington's political bullying. A Vancouver court's expected to sanction Meng's pending extradition request from the U.S. in the coming months.