Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou enters agreement with Justice Department

The deal will allow the executive to return to China, The New York Times reports.

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Bree Fowler writes about cybersecurity and digital privacy. Before joining CNET she reported for The Associated Press and Consumer Reports. A Michigan native, she's a long-suffering Detroit sports fan, world traveler, wannabe runner and champion baker of over-the-top birthday cakes and all-things sourdough.
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The New York Times reports that Huawei Technologies' CFO Meng Wanzhou will be allowed to return to China as part of a deal with the Department of Justice.


Huawei Technologies' Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou agreed to a deferred prosecution deal with the Department of Justice after appearing in federal district court in Brooklyn on Friday, the DOJ said in a statement. Meng, who has been detained in Canada since 2018, will also be allowed to return to China in exchange for admitting some wrongdoing in a sanctions violation case, The New York Times reported

See also: Huawei ban timeline: Chinese company settles patent lawsuits with Verizon

Meng was arraigned on charges of bank fraud and wire fraud, as well as conspiracy to commit bank fraud and wire fraud, according to the DOJ. 

"In entering into the deferred prosecution agreement, Meng has taken responsibility for her principal role in perpetrating a scheme to defraud a global financial institution," acting US attorney Nicole Boeckmann for the Eastern District of New York said in a statement. "Meng's admissions confirm the crux of the government's allegations in the prosecution of this financial fraud — that Meng and her fellow Huawei employees engaged in a concerted effort to deceive global financial institutions, the U.S. government and the public about Huawei's activities in Iran."

Canadian authorities arrested Meng in December 2018 at Vancouver International Airport, at the request of US officials. She is the daughter of Ren Zhengfei, Huawei's founder and CEO.

Huawei is a global telecoms supplier and phone manufacturer, but is considered a national security threat in the US. The Chinese company has been under significant scrutiny in recent years, with its phones rendered virtually invisible in the US and some European countries banning the use of its equipment in their 5G networks.

Huawei didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. 

CNET's Carrie Mihalcik contributed to this report.