The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa filed charges against 43-year-old Mo Yun a year ago. She and six others — including her brother — were accused of trying to steal the secrets to hybrid corn being raised in Iowa and Illinois. The charges against Mo were dropped after a federal court ruled instant messages could not be used as evidence in the case.
Mo’s husband is the CEO of a Chinese conglomerate with a seed corn subsidiary, but the law firm representing Mo says she left the company eight years ago “to be a full-time, stay-at-home mother.” She was arrested during a shopping trip to Los Angeles last year and she’s now heading home to Beijing.
Her brother was arrested near a Pioneer facility in Dysart and charged with stealing patented seed corn from fields here and shipping it back to China. He’s scheduled to stand trial in September on the charges.
The five others who were charged in this alleged case of espionage are in China and are not likely to be released to the U.S. to face the charges here.