A second Chinese citizen was arrested last week in Los Angeles in connection with an alleged plot to steal patented seed corn developed by U.S. agricultural companies.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Mo Yun was arrested on Tuesday and charged in an indictment Wednesday with participating in a five-year scheme to dig up seeds and steal ears of corn developed by Monsanto Co., DuPont Co. and LG Seeds and ship them back to Beijing for the benefit of a Chinese seed company, according to U.S. officials.
Mo Yun’s arrest follows the arrest in December of Mo Hailong, who is Mo Yun’s brother. In December, Mr. Mo was arrested and indicted for helping to direct the alleged plot to steal the corn seed. He is in custody awaiting his trial, which is expected to begin in December 2014. He has pleaded not guilty.
"Mo Yun faces one count of conspiracy to steal trade secrets stemming from an investigation that led to the December indictment of six Chinese nationals, at least five of whom worked for the Beijing Dabeinong Technology Group Company or a subsidiary corn seed company called Kings Nower Seed," the Des Moines Register reported.
According to charges filed against her, Ms. Mo is the wife of Dr. Shao Genhou, who is founder and chairman of Beijing Technology Group Co. (DBN), which owns a seed business, the Wall Street Journal reported. Ms. Mo is now in federal custody.
“Ms. Mo allegedly discussed with other defendants charged in the case which seeds to ‘collect,’ possible farmland purchases and whether more personnel might be needed in the U.S. to help gather seeds,” prosecutors wrote in Wednesday’s complaint, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The investigation into the seed theft continues. The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa said other seed companies may have been targeted by the alleged seed stealing plot.