U.S. prosecutors ignored apparent breaches of U.S. sanctions towards Iran by HSBC in exchange for the British bank’s help to a government probe of Huawei Technologies, lawyers for the Chinese telecoms titan stated.
In return, “HSBC agreed on cooperating with the federal government’s efforts to depict Huawei as the mastermind of HSBC’s sanctions breaches and supply witnesses to the federal government’s stalled investigation of Huawei,” the lawyers wrote.
In an indictment unsealed in 2019, Huawei was charged by the U.S. with bank fraud and breaking penalties against Iran.
The charge accuses Huawei and its CFO, Meng Wanzhou, of conspiring to defraud HSBC and other banks by misrepresenting Huawei’s tie with Skycom Tech, a suspected front firm that operated in Iran.
The new claims by Huawei relate to a five-year delayed prosecution agreement HSBC agreed to in 2012 for disregarding guidelines designed to stop money laundering and processing transactions that breached sanctions.
Huawei’s lawyers say that, after HSBC received the deferred prosecution agreement, the bank continued to process Iran deals via its New York branch and concealed the conduct from a court-appointed monitor.
It failed as late as 2017 to fulfill assent measures it had promised in order to strike the deal
Huawei has pleaded not guilty. Meng, the daughter of Huawei’s founder, was held in Canada on a U.S. warrant in connection with the case.