U.S. To Drop Fraud Charges Against Top Huawei Executive

Prosecutors for the Eastern District of New York say they are dropping bank and wire fraud charges against the chief financial officer of Chinese telecom giant Huawei Technologies

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Prosecutors for the Eastern District of New York say they are dropping bank and wire fraud charges against the chief financial officer of Chinese telecom giant Huawei Technologies and remove an extradition request to detain her if she complies with a deferred prosecution agreement.

Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, admitted that she attempted to defraud an American financial institution by misrepresenting her company’s ties to Iran in an effort to avoid U.S. sanctions against Iran.

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

First indicted in 2018, Meng was arrested on an extradition warrant in Canada in 2018 and has remained confined to that country as she waged her legal battle in the U.S.

She was detained on the same day that former President Trump and Xi Jinping met at the Group of 20 summit of world leaders in Argentina and had just agreed to a cease-fire in their trade war.

U.S.-China relations have been fraying for years, and that relationship still presents challenges for President Biden, who views China as a competitor, not an adversary. He just spoke with Xi last week for about 90 minutes, but he and Xi have yet to hold a face-to-face meeting.

It’s been seven months since Mr. Biden’s inauguration, and he still has not secured a China trade policy, and many of the tariffs established by the Trump administration remain in place.

Meng appeared remotely from Canada before Judge Anne Donnelly in the Eastern District of New York where she and prosecutors entered into the deferred prosecution agreement.

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