- The Washington Times - Monday, December 14, 2020

A Chinese professor accused of stealing technology for Huawei Technologies Co. was sentenced Monday to time served, bringing a disappointing close to the much-hyped Justice Department investigation.

Federal prosecutors in New York City’s Brooklyn borough last fall charged Bo Mao with conspiring to commit wire fraud, saying he used his prestigious position at the University of Texas-Arlington to pilfer U.S. technology on behalf of Huawei, a Chinese company.

Earlier this month, Mao pleaded guilty to one count of lying to federal agents in exchange for dismissing the wire fraud charge.

A federal judge in Brooklyn sentenced him to time served for the six days he was in custody after his arrest.

“We are gratified that we were finally able to convince the government to dismiss the erroneous charge against him,” Mao’s attorneys Moe Fodeman and Michael Sommer said in a statement. “Professor Mao and his family will finally be able to put this nightmare behind them.”

U.S. District Judge Pamela Chen said Mao’s criminal conduct “was much broader and far worse” than what he admitted to doing. She also expressed “disappointment” at his lack of remorse.

Still, she agreed that he should not serve more time than the week he already spent in jail.

Mao was swept in during the Justice Department’s crackdown on Chinese professors at American University stealing U.S. intellectual property theft.

The charges against Mao were part of a broad racketeering probe prosecutors filed against Huawei earlier this year.

At the time of Mao’s August arrest, prosecutors said he entered into an agreement with a California technology company, later revealed to be Silicon Valley’s CNEX Labs, to obtain its circuit board for academic research. He was accused of ultimately sharing that information with Huawei.

Ultimately, Mao admitted to lying to federal agents about whether anyone at the Texas university possessed certain technology.

The Justice Department’s top national security official this month said the arrests of several Chinese professors earlier this month, is “just the tip of the iceberg.”

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