Seed secrets thief jailed

Mo Hailong, a Chinese-born US citizen, will be sentenced to up to five years in prison after pleading guilty in US federal court to conspiracy to steal trade secrets from DuPont Pioneer and Monsanto. 

Mo admitted participating in theft of true-breeding parent-variety corn seeds – used to create commercial hybrid varieties – from production fields in Iowa. The suit asserts that Mo intended to transport the seeds to China on behalf of the Beijing-headquartered DBN Group.

The charges carry a maximum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment and up to a $250,000 fine. However, as part of the plea agreement the government has agreed not to seek more than a five year prison sentence.

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