Huawei CFO committed fraud in breach of United States sanctions, prosecutors say

Chinese Tech Exec Faces 30 Years in Prison in U.S., Canadian Prosecutor Says

A Chinese telecommunications executive is being accused of fraud by the US government, which wants Meng Wanzhou extradited from Canada to face the charge.

The prosecutor said even a $1 million bail would not be a deterrent from her fleeing Canada because of her family's enormous wealth and the severity of the charges against her, which the prosecutor said could result in a 30-year jail sentence.

John Gibb-Carsley said Meng is alleged to have said Huawei and Skycom were separate companies in a meeting with an unnamed financial institution, misleading an executive with that institution and putting it at risk.

The US said she had at least seven passports from China and Hong Kong in the last 11 years and that Huawei had tried to move Chinese nationals out of the US if they could be potential witnesses to its Iran operations.

Chinese media has blamed her arrest on United States efforts to stop its global expansion, while Huawei said it had "very little information" about the case but was "not aware of any wrongdoing".

A top Chinese telecommunications executive facing possible extradition to the United States appeared in court Friday as she sought bail in a case that has rattled markets and raised doubts about the USA being able to reach a truce in its trade war with China. While personal details are scant, she is married and has a son and a daughter, Huawei said.

The news of Meng's arrest has roiled global stock markets on fears it could escalate a trade war between the United States and China after a truce was agreed last week between President Trump and China's leader Xi Jinping. Meng was arrested on December 1 while changing planes on a trip from Hong Kong to Mexico. A Canadian official authorized her arrest in November.

If she is released on bail, she would likely have to surrender her passport and submit to electronic monitoring until she is discharged or surrendered for trial to the United States.

Since then, Huawei has grown into the world's biggest supplier of network gear for phone and internet companies.

A Huawei spokesman declined to comment on Thursday before Meng's court appearance and said that Wednesday's statement still stands.

"If you have infinite resources, the value of pledges diminishes", the lawyer representing Canada's attorney general said. So far, New Zealand and Australia have banned the company from their 5G networks; Britain has expressed concerns and is considering measures.

Huawei has grown to more than 170,000 employees and does businesses in more than 170 countries since Ren founded the company in 1987.

For a period of time she was in charge of Huawei's successful internationalization efforts. Meng's father is worth $3.2 billion.

Meng, who also has used the English names Cathy and Sabrina, served on the board of Skycom between February 2008 and April 2009, according to Skycom records, and several other past and present Skycom directors appear to have connections to Huawei.

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