A Chinese professor accused of stealing American trade secrets for Huawei has pleaded guilty to lying to a court but has been given a lighter sentence and allowed to return to China.
Bo Mao, a professor at Xiamen University, was sentenced to time already in custody by U.S. District Judge Pamela Chen on Monday in Brooklyn, New York, as prosecutors dropped a more serious wire fraud conspiracy charge. Mauboussa pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI in court on December 4.
Maubo was arrested in August 2019 while serving as a visiting professor at the University of Texas at Arlington. Prosecutors say MAO used academic research to obtain circuit boards from CNEX Labs, a Silicon Valley chip innovator, but eventually shared the information with Huawei.
Judge Pamela Chen said MAO had only pleaded guilty to the charge of lying, but his crimes were broader and more serious, and he “might even be considered a patriot” at home.
Chan said Maubo had shown no remorse. “Frankly, I’m disappointed,” she said.
Chan also said That MAO’s role in the case was minor and that he appeared to have profited indirectly, possibly through career development.
Speaking through an interpreter at the court, MAO said his family had experienced a lot of pressure and looked forward to returning home to reunite with them as soon as possible.
MAO Bo is scheduled to return to China on Wednesday.