The chief financial officer of Chinese tech firm Huawei will be released and allowed to return to China after reaching an agreement with the U.S. government on fraud charges, prosecutors said Friday in a Brooklyn federal court.
A U.S. district judge accepted the deferred prosecution agreement, which will last until Dec. 1, 2022. Under the deal, the executive, Meng Wanzhou, affirmed the accuracy of a statement of facts and agreed not to commit other crimes, or risk prosecution.
Meng, the daughter of Huawei’s founder, was arrested in Canada in December 2018. The U.S. sought to extradite her on bank and wire fraud charges, claiming she was misled a financial institution to violate American sanctions on Iran. The U.S. said Friday it plans to withdraw its extradition request.
Meng pleaded not guilty to the charges on Friday. As part of the agreement, however, she took “responsibility for her principal role in perpetrating a scheme to defraud a global financial institution,” acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Nicole Boeckmann said in a statement.
According to Boeckmann, Meng admitted to making “multiple material misrepresentations” while CFO of Huawei about the company’s business in Iran, in conversations with the senior executive of a financial institution. The government claimed she did this to continue Huawei’s business relationship with the firm.
Boeckmann said the admission confirms the core allegations against Meng. Media reports have linked Hong Kong-based HSBC to the case, though the bank has previously said the DOJ has confirmed it is not under investigation in the case.
A Huawei spokesperson declined to comment.
A lawyer representing Meng said he was “pleased” with the agreement.
“She has not pleaded guilty and we fully expect the indictment will be dismissed with prejudice after fourteen months,” attorney William W. Taylor III said. “Now, she will be free to return home to be with her family.”
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