The U.S. Attorney General’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa announced July 2 the arrest and indictment of Mo Yun, for conspiracy to steal trade secrets of several U.S. seed companies. Mo Yun’s brother Mo Hailong had been previously arrested in December 2013. Court documents in that case suggested other unnamed conspirators were involved, including employees of the U.S. seed companies.
The Superseding Indictment alleges that from on or about January of 2007, to on or about December of 2012, Mo Hailong, Mo Yun and other individuals conspired to steal seed corn from production fields in Iowa and Illinois for the benefit of their China-based seed company.
Mo Yun, a Chinese national, was employed by Beijing Dabeinong Technology Group Company (DBN) from August 2001 to March 2009. She is also the spouse of DBN founder and current chairman Dr. Shao Genhuo. DBN is believed to be a Chinese conglomerate with a corn seed subsidiary company, Kings Nower Seed.
The investigation was initiated when DuPont Pioneer security staff detected suspicious activity, and alerted the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). DuPont Pioneer, Monsanto and their staff have been fully cooperative throughout the investigation, which is being led by the FBI.
“The FBI’s investigation into Mo Yun should not go unnoticed by those who seek to steal trade secrets and private business information,” said Thomas R. Metz, special agent in Charge of the Omaha Division of the FBI. “Identifying and deterring those focused on stealing trade secrets, propriety and confidential information or national security information is the number two priority for the FBI second only to terrorism.”