DES MOINES, Iowa (KWQC) – A Chinese man has been sentenced to three years imprisonment for stealing trade secrets from DuPont Pioneer and Monsanto.
Mo Hailong, also known as Robert Mo, 46, appeared in court on October 5th, 2016 to be sentenced for conspiracy to steal trade secrets. Following his imprisonment, Hailong will serve three years of supervised release. He also must pay a restitution amount to be determined at a later date and forfeit two farms he purchased over the course of the conspiracy: one in Iowa and one in Illinois.
Mo Hailong was employed as the Director of International Business of the Beijing Dabeinong Technology Group Company, commonly referred to as DBN, over the course of the conspiracy. DBN is a Chinese conglomerate with a corn seed subsidiary company, Kings Nower Seed. Mo Hailong is a Chinese national who became a lawful permanent resident of the United States.
Hailong has admitted to participating in a conspiracy to steal trade secrets from DuPont Pioneer and Monsanto. Inbred, or parent, corn seeds that were stolen from fields in the Southern District of Iowa and elsewhere were taken with the intent to send the seeds to DBN in China. Those stolen seeds are considered valuable trade secrets of DuPont Pioneer and Monsanto.
Du Pont Pioneer security staff alerted the Federal Bureau of Investigation when they detected suspicious activity. DuPont Pioneer and Monsanto were fully cooperative during the FBI’s investigation.
“Mo Hailong stole valuable proprietary information in the form of seed corn from DuPont Pioneer and Monsanto in an effort to transport such trade secrets to China. Theft of trade secrets is a serious federal crime, as it harms victim companies that have invested millions of dollars and years of work toward the development of propriety technology. The theft of agricultural trade secrets, and other intellectual property, poses a grave threat to our national economic security,” said United States Attorney Kevin E. VanderSchel. “The Justice Department and federal law enforcement partners are committed to prosecuting those who in engage in conduct such as Mo Hailong.”