Theft of Trade Secrets of Inbred Corn Seeds to China

On Oct. 5, 2016, in the Southern District of Iowa, Mo Hailong, a/k/a Robert Mo, a Chinese national, was sentenced to 36 months in prison for conspiracy to steal trade secrets. Mo Hailong was also ordered to serve three years of supervised release following his term of imprisonment. On Dec. 19, 2016, Mo Hailong was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $425,000. In addition, the Court ordered the forfeiture of two farms in Iowa and Illinois that were purchased and utilized by Mo Hailong and others during the course of the conspiracy. Mo Hailong is a Chinese national who became a lawful permanent resident of the United States. During the course of the conspiracy, Mo Hailong was employed as the Director of International Business of the Beijing Dabeinong Technology Group Company, commonly referred to as DBN. DBN is a Chinese conglomerate with a corn seed subsidiary company, Kings Nower Seed. According to the plea agreement entered on Jan. 27, 2016, Mo Hailong admitted to participating in a long-term conspiracy to steal trade secrets from DuPont Pioneer and Monsanto. Mo Hailong participated in the theft of inbred corn seeds from fields in the Southern District of Iowa and elsewhere for the purpose of transporting the seeds to DBN in China. The stolen inbred, or parent, seeds were the valuable trade secrets of DuPont Pioneer and Monsanto. The investigation was initiated when DuPont Pioneer security staff detected suspicious activity and alerted the FBI. DuPont Pioneer and Monsanto were fully cooperative throughout the investigation. This matter was investigated by the FBI.