A Chinese national pleaded guilty on Thursday (01/06/2022) to conspiracy to steal a trade secret from US agribusiness giant Monsanto, the US Justice Department reported.
Jiang Haitao, 44, was hired by Monsanto and its subsidiary The Climate Corporation as an imaging scientist from 2008 to 2017, the department said in a statement.
He said Jiang pleaded guilty in Missouri, where Monsanto is located, to one count of conspiracy to commit economic espionage on behalf of China, he said.
According to the Justice Department, Jiang stole proprietary software developed by Monsanto to help farmers improve crop yields.
Deputy Attorney General Matthew Olsen said, “Jiang has admitted that he stole the Monsanto trade secret, transferred it to a memory card and tried to bring it to the People’s Republic of China for the benefit of the Chinese government.” “
The man faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and a potential $5 million fine.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry said in 2019, when Jiang was accused, that Washington was trying to use the case to support its allegations that China was stealing technology from US companies.
GS (AFP, AP, Reuters)
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