A pair of Chinese citizens accused of stealing seed technology from U.S. seed companies will face a joint trial next September, following a failed request to separate the trials.
The brother and sister pair, Mo Hailong and Mo Yun, are part of a larger group of Chinese individuals facing charges related to the seed stealing investigation, The Des Moines Register reported last week.
Mo Hailong was arrested in December, 2013, on charges of conspiracy to steal parent lines of seed corn from at least two American seed companies, after a two-year investigation.
At the time, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa Nicholas Klinefeldt alleged that the between September 2011 and October 2012, Mo Hailong attempted to steal the seeds in concert with others and return them to China for benefit of a China-based seed company.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation began looking into the case after Mo Hailong was found digging in a Pioneer test field in May 2011, the Register said.
Mo Yun was arrested in June on charges of participating in the scheme to steal seeds from Monsanto, DuPont and LG Seeds, the Wall Street Journal reported. She is married to Dr. Shao Genhuo, chairman of the China-based seed company Beijing Dabeinong Technology Group Company.
Both Mo Yun and Mo Hailong have worked for DBN.
Mo Yun was denied a request earlier this month to separate her trial from her brother's in favor of a May date. A magistrate also denied her November motion to return to China to visit her relatives, the Register said.
According to a CNN Money article, members of the alleged theft ring tried to sneak seeds out of the U.S. using Orville Redenbacher popcorn boxes and Subway napkins.