From approximately April 2011 to approximately December 2012, Ye, Jian, Li, Shaoming, Lin, Yong, Wang, Hongwei, and Wang, Lei allegedly conspired to steal the intellectual property of several United States-based seed manufacturing companies and transport the intellectual property to the People's Republic of China for the benefit of their China-based seed company. The 5 individuals are alleged to have conspired to steal “inbred” corn seed from Dupont Pioneer, Monsanto, and LG Seeds. This “inbred” or “parent” line of seed constitutes valuable intellectual property of a seed producer. The estimated loss on an “inbred” line of seed is approximately 5 to 8 years of research and a minimum of 30 to 40 million dollars.
After Ye, Jian was charged with conspiracy to steal trade secrets, a federal warrant was issued for his arrest in the United States District Court, Southern District of Iowa, on December 17, 2013.