Second Chinese Citizen Arrested in Seed Theft Case

Posted July 4, 2014

A second Chinese citizen has been charged by federal agents in an alleged scheme to steal high-tech corn seed developed by Monsanto Co., DuPont Co., and LG Seeds, according to a St. Louis Business Journal article by Diana Barr available here. The Des Moines Register also published an article available here and the Wall Street Journal here.

On Wednesday, Mo Yun was indicted on charges of participating in a five-year plot to dig up seeds and steal ears of corn developed by the companies and send them to Beijing for the benefit of a Chinese seed company.

Mo Yun is the sister of Mo Hailong, who was indicted in December 2013, among six others, on charges of conspiracy to steal the genetically modified seeds and transport them to China. He has pleaded not guilty and is set to go trial in December this year, according to Des Moines Register.

All seven nationals have been accused in a plot that has been watched by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) since 2011.

Yun directed research project management for the Chinese company and is married to its founder, Dr. Shao Genhuo, who has a net worth of $1.4 billion.

Nick Klinefeldt, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa, said the investigation would progress, and that more seed companies may have been targeted by the alleged scheme.

"As we get more information, we're continuing to investigate," he said, according to the Wall Street Journal.

A spokesman for DuPont said the company would continue to cooperate with the U.S. attorney’s office and the FBI on this subject.