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Chinese woman in seed corn case released on bond

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 22, 2014 at 12:55 pm •  Published: July 22, 2014

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Chinese woman charged as part of what federal prosecutors say was a conspiracy to steal trade secrets from U.S. seed corn companies is free on bond after a judge said she is a flight risk but can be closely monitored until trial.

Mo Yun, a 42-year-old who was charged in this month with conspiring to steal trade secrets, was allowed to post $250,000 bond, must wear a GPS monitor and stay in a home in the Des Moines area between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. daily.

Mo sought a pre-trial release plan that would have allowed her to travel to China to visit her 12-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter. But under the order signed Monday by Judge Robert Pratt, Mo's travel is restricted to Iowa, although Pratt said the court will consider trips to California to see her children under strict supervision and with prior approval of the court.

"After carefully reviewing the documents filed in this case so far, the parties' briefs, and the record made at hearing, the court agrees with Mo Yun that the government's evidence against her is 'thin,' and that nothing about her history or characteristics warrants the imposition of overly restrictive conditions of release," Pratt wrote.

Mo is one of seven people connected to Chinese agriculture biotechnology DBN Group who prosecutors say stole patented seed corn from fields in Iowa and Illinois and shipped it to China to try to reproduce its traits. The government says the stolen seed and its intellectual property value exceeds $500 million.

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