DOJ charges Chinese tech giant Huawei, top executive with fraud

Chinese tech giant Huawei — the world’s biggest supplier of network gear used by phone and Internet companies — was charged by the Justice Department on Monday with 13 felonies, including fraud.

“As you can tell from the number and magnitude of the charges, Huawei and its senior executives repeatedly refused to respect U.S. law and standard international business practices,” said FBI Director Chris Wray at a Monday news conference.

The 13-count indictment, as trade talks between China and the U.S. are scheduled for this week, was unsealed Monday in New York charging Huawei, two of its affiliates and a top executive at the company, Meng Wanzhou.

A 13-count indictment was unsealed Monday in New York charging Huawei, two of its affiliates and Meng Wanzhou, a top executive at the company. (File)

A 13-count indictment was unsealed Monday in New York charging Huawei, two of its affiliates and Meng Wanzhou, a top executive at the company. (File)

Meng, the company’s chief financial officer, was arrested in Canada on Dec. 1. Prosecutors have been seeking to extradite her from Canada.

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The charges include bank fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.

A separate case filed in Washington state charges Huawei with stealing trade secrets from T-Mobile.

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The indictment details Huawei’s efforts to steal trade secrets from T-Mobile USA, and then obstruct justice when T-Mobile threatened to sue Huawei in Federal Court in Seattle.

Prosecutors charge Huawei used a Hong Kong shell company to sell equipment in Iran in violation of U.S. sanctions.

Huawei has long been seen as a front for spying by the Chinese military or security services.

“As I told high-level Chinese law enforcement officials in August, we need more law enforcement cooperation with China,” acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker said at the news conference with other Cabinet officials, including Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. “China should be concerned about criminal activities by Chinese companies, and China should take action.”

A Huawei spokesman did not immediately comment.

Fox News’ Jake Gibson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.