A man was reportedly arrested in connection with a conspiracy to steal trade secrets of bioengineered corn.
A Chinese National living in Florida has been accused of trying to steal valuable inbred seed corn from manufacturing companies DuPont Pioneer and Monsanto.
On Thursday, December 12, 2013 U.S. Attorney Nicholas Klinefeldt revealed details of the case at a news conference in Des Moines. He said that on Wednesday Mo Hailong, who worked for a seed corn company in China, was arrested.
“This investigation began in the summer of 2011 with a tip from Pioneer of suspicious activity by an individual in one of their testing fields,” said Klinefeldt. “That individual turned out to be Mo Hailong.”
According to the report Monsanto officials had later reported an individual digging up plants in their fields; the individual was identified as Hailong. Five others are allegedly co-conspirators in the case, according to Klinefeldt, but have not been arrested.
“The estimated potential loss of an inbred seed line would be 5 to 8 years of research time and 30 to 40 million dollars,” said Klinefeldt.