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Huawei Charged With Bank Fraud, Money Laundering

By William Vogeler, Esq. on January 28, 2019 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Huawei, the world's largest telecommunications manufacturer, has been charged with bank fraud, money laundering, and other federal violations.

In a press release, U.S. Justice Department and Homeland Security officials unveiled the charges against the company and its chief financial officer. CEO Wanzhou Meng was arrested last month in Canada, but has been free on bail.

At the time, it looked like a deal might be in the works. Now, not so much.

"Fraudulent Financial Scheme"

Acting U.S. Attorney Matthew Whitaker said Huawei and Meng "engaged in a fraudulent financial scheme" detrimental to the security of the United States.

"They willfully conducted millions of dollars in transactions that were in direct violation of the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations, and such behavior will not be tolerated," added Homeland Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.

The government alleges that Huawei and Meng misled regulators about the company's business dealings with Iran. In 2013, the prosecutors say, Meng "repeatedly lied" to a "major" bank in violation of the law.

U.S. authorities caught up with Meng in Canada, where she was held for 10 days in December. She was then released on $7.5 million bail.

China Trade Deal?

At the time, President Trump said he could intervene in the case if it could help close a trade deal with China.

"If I think it's good for what will be certainly the largest trade deal ever made -- which is a very important thing -- what's good for national security -- I would certainly intervene if I thought it was necessary," Trump said.

That was then. In the newly released indictment, Meng faces up to 30 years in prison.

The U.S. is seeking her extradition.

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