The department unveiled 13 charges against chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou - the daughter of the company's founder who is now out on bail in Canada - and three affiliates related to violating United States sanctions on Iran.
Meng, 46, who is the daughter of the company's founder, was arrested in Canada on 1 December following a request by the United States, which will now seek to extradite her.
Prosecutors also accused Meng of committing fraud and misleading banks into believing Skycom and Huawei were separate.
The indictment details Huawei's efforts to steal trade secrets from T-Mobile USA, and then obstruct justice when T-Mobile threatened to sue Huawei in Federal Court in Seattle.
Last month, Meng was detained in Canada at the behest of the US Justice Department over claims of doing business with Iran, in violation of US sanctions.
AT&T and Verizon reportedly dropped plans to offer Huawei's Mate 10 smartphone past year after being pressured by the us government.
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Wanzhou Meng remains in Canada after being released by police, but it seems likely she will be extradited to the US.
The charges range from conspiracy to bank fraud, wire fraud, money laundering and obstruction of justice.
The first set of criminal charges surround a Huawei CFO Wanzhou Meng and a little known affiliate named Skycom. In response to a question, Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker stated that the Mueller investigation is "close to being completed".
The indictment also says that Huawei relied on global banking relationships for financial services including processing US-dollar transactions through the US.
The charges in both cases add to U.S. pressure on Huawei, the world's biggest telecommunications equipment maker. Apart from the trade dispute, the US and China are also competing for control over 5G infrastructure, which both countries believe is key to their economic and military success. She now is staying in one of her family's homes in Vancouver as she awaits a decision from a Canadian court on a USA extradition request.
News of the charges comes just as the White House is making plans for a team of high-level economic advisers to meet a delegation from China later this week to talk trade between the two countries.
Huawei allegedly wanted to build its own Tappy robot for testing phones before its handsets were sent to T-Mobile, so its engineers secretly took the robot's photos and measurements.