The story of the Chinese spy emerged in the US this week after Chinese national and US resident Mo Hailong also known as Robert Mo was sentenced to three years in federal prison for conspiracy to steal trade secrets.
Mo worked for Chinese bio engineering firm Dabeinong Technology Group according to the US Department of Justice and was involved in a years long plot to steak high yield pest resistant corn seed worth millions which had been bred by Monsanto, DuPont Pioneer and LG Seeds.
The plot also involved seven other Chinese nationals including the wife of a billionaire.
Mo was found to have shipped 1000 pounds of the corn seeds to China where it was later counterfitted by Chinese scientists.
The seed technology was estimated to be worth between $30- $40 million dollars in research and development time.
Mo’s efforts came to an end in May 2011 when a DuPont Pioneer employee found him crawling through an unmarked research field in Iowa. When confronted Mo said that he worked for the University of Iowa and was on his way to an agriculture conference.
Mo and another man Wang Lei, a senior executive from Kings Nower Seeds a subsidiary of DBN fled in a car. Mo was later tracked down by the FBI after a lengthy hunt which involved GPS tracking and phone bugging.
The theft of trade secrets is a serious crime in the US. Mo will be up for parole in three years.