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Press Release

Chinese National Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Steal Trade Secrets

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Iowa

DES MOINES, IA – On January 27, 2016, Mo Hailong, also known as Robert Mo, 46,

appeared before the Honorable Stephanie M. Rose and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal trade

secrets, announced Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin and Acting

United States Attorney Kevin E. VanderSchel.


According to the plea agreement, 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 for the purpose of

transporting the seeds to China. The stolen inbred, or parent, seeds were the valuable intellectual

property of DuPont Pioneer and Monsanto.


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. Mo Hailong is a Chinese national who became a lawful permanent resident of the

United States pursuant to an H-1B visa.


The investigation was initiated when DuPont Pioneer security staff detected suspicious

activity and alerted the Federal Bureau of Investigation. DuPont Pioneer and Monsanto were

fully cooperative throughout the investigation.


Mo Hailong will be sentenced at a date to be determined in Des Moines, Iowa.


Conspiracy to steal trade secrets is a felony that carries up to 10 years of imprisonment

and up to a $250,000 fine. As part of the plea agreement in this case, the government agreed not

to seek more than a five year prison sentence.


This matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case was

prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa and the

National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section.

Updated January 28, 2016

Intellectual Property