On Monday, a U.S. federal court in Texas has summoned lawyers for ZTE Corp for a hearing whether the Chinese telecommunications equipment maker violated probation in connection with an alleged conspiracy to commit visa fraud.
The company is on probation in the US after pleading guilty in Dallas in 2017 to illegally shipping U.S. technology to Iran and North Korea.
The visa fraud stems from a 2021 case in Atlanta, Georgia.
ZTE was not charged in that indictment.
According to the indictment, a former ZTE research director in New Jersey and a professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology allegedly conspired to bring Chinese nationals to the United States to conduct research at ZTE between at least 2014 and 2018.
The Chinese nationals came to the United States on J-1 visas, designed for work and study at institutions like Georgia Tech, but allegedly conducted research for ZTE in New Jersey.
The professor, Gee-Kung Chang, has pleaded not guilty. The status of the former ZTE research director, Jianjun Yu, is unclear.
A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney in Atlanta, where the visa case is pending, declined to comment.
The U.S. Department of Justice in Washington declined comment.
A lawyer for ZTE did not respond to a request for comment.
In 2017, ZTE pleaded guilty and paid $892 million in criminal charges for violating U.S. laws that restrict the sale of American-made technology.