Thursday, January 28, 2016

Chinese man makes deal on seed theft

A Chinese man has reached an agreement with federal prosecutors over patented seeds stolen from DuPont Pioneer and Monsanto.

Ho Hailong is a naturalized citizen who was living in Florida at the time of his arrest.

A Chinese woman whose husband is a genetic researcher and plant breeder is also facing charges, but there's nothing new being reported about her case.

Hailong has admitted he participated in a conspiracy to steal seed corn.

Hailong traveled to corn fields in Iowa with some employees of a seed corn subsidiary of Beijing-based DBN Group; they gathered seeds with the intent of reproducing their genetic traits.

The plea agreement says Mo admits he conspired to steal trade secrets from DuPont Pioneer and Monsanto.

Mo will be sentenced later in Des Moines. Prosecutors have agreed not to seek a prison sentence exceeding five years.

The investigation began two years ago when Pioneer security staff discovered Chinese men crawling around in cornfields.