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