On October 5, 2016, U.S. District Judge Stephanie M. Rose sentenced Mo Hailong (“Robert Mo” or “Mo”) to 3 years in prison for conspiracy to steal trade secrets from DuPont Pioneer and Monsanto. Mo was a legal resident living in Florida at the time of his arrest.
In the plea agreement, Robert Mo admitted he participated in a long-term conspiracy to steal trade secrets from DuPont Pioneer and Montsanto. Mo stole genetically modified seeds from both companies and sent them to scientists in Beijing, China. He was one of three other men from China arrested in 2013 for sending stolen, genetically modified seeds to China to be counterfeited. The stolen seeds are for a strain of corn that is one of the agricultural industry’s most valuable secrets.
The Judge opted to sentence Mo to prison time rather than community service to deter Chinese companies from engaging in such criminal behavior. In addition to sentencing Robert Mo, the Court ordered the forfeiture of two farms in Iowa and Illinois that Mo purchased with others during the course of the conspiracy.