Chinese language intelligence officers charged with Huawei obstructing legislation enforcement
Two Chinese intelligence officers have been criminally charged with trying to obstruct the prosecution of global telecoms company Huawei by attempting to steal confidential information about the case, Attorney General Merrick Garland said on Monday.
Garland also announced two more criminal cases related to Chinese government efforts to interfere in US affairs.
One in New Jersey has accused three Chinese secret agents of conspiring to operate in the United States as illegal agents on behalf of a foreign government.
The other in New York’s Eastern District accused several people working on behalf of the Chinese government of “engaging in a multi-year campaign of threats and harassment to force a US citizen to return to China,” Garland said.
Photo of He and Wang included in Justice Department complaint.
“Last Thursday we arrested two of these defendants,” the attorney general said.
“As these cases demonstrate, the Chinese government has attempted to interfere with the rights and freedoms of individuals in the United States and to undermine our judicial system that protects those rights,” Garland said.
“They didn’t succeed,” he added.
The Huawei-related criminal complaint alleges that Guochun He and Zheng Wang paid a US government official a total of $61,000 in bitcoin cryptocurrency for confidential information related to the Justice Department’s pending prosecution of the China-based company.
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That information included details of witnesses, trial evidence, and possible new charges against Huawei, according to the complaint in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn.
Huawei is not named in the lawsuit, but details match the company’s known prosecution.
“It was an outrageous attempt by [People’s Republic of China] Intelligence officers to shield a PRC-based company from accountability and undermine the integrity of our judicial system,” Garland said.
The complaint said the men had been in a relationship with the government worker in February 2017, but that the other person “later began working as a double agent for the US government.”
“Ever since he became a double agent [the government employee]’s continued contact with He and Wang occurred under FBI supervision,” the complaint said.
The employee provided He and Wang “upon request with various information, including allegedly sensitive information regarding the US government’s criminal case against” Huawei at the direction of the FBI, the complaint said.
In addition to obstructing justice, the lawsuit alleges money laundering by the two defendants, who allegedly transferred Bitcoin that was used to bribe their alleged whistleblower.