Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Feds Bust Chinese Marriage-fraud Operation

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Birth tourism isn’t the only means by which Chinese aliens gain illegal entry into the United States.

Another is marriage fraud.

Last week, the Homeland Security Investigations bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement upended a major marriage scam in California. The agents also collared two Chinese nationals who hoped to get Green Cards with the fake nuptials.

Solution: Suspend all tourism and immigration from China, Wuhan Flu regardless.

The Scheme
The charges resulted from a three-year probe and say Chinese nationals paid $60,000 to enter fake marriages with Americans. The goal? Get a Green Card — lawful permanent residence — to stay in the United States.

“Specifically, the arrangers recruited United States citizens to enter into marriages with Chinese nationals, and then they filed immigration documents with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS),” a statement from ICE and the Justice Department says:

The arrangers coached the Chinese nationals and United States citizens on how to make their marriages appear genuine and pass interviews conducted by the USCIS, such as by creating a fraudulent paper trail for the couples and memorizing answers to questions immigration service officers could ask during their USCIS interviews.

Federal agents collared four defendants. The two charged with running the scam are Xiulan “Cindy” Wang, 46, who lives in San Gabriel and owns Pacific Bizhub Consulting, and Chang Yu “Andy” He, 54, who lives in Monterey Park and owns Fair Price Immigration Service.

ICE did not say whether the two are American citizens.

The feds also bagged two Chinese nationals who paid for the fake marriages: Zhongnan Liu, 33, who lives in San Diego, and Huanzhang Wu, 28, who lives in Minnesota.

The feds are looking for another suspect involved in the scam:

According to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, in the course of arranging the sham marriages involving the undercover HSI agents, He coached the “couples” on how to make their relationships appear legitimate to bypass U.S. immigration laws. He allegedly instructed them to obtain joint bank accounts and joint apartment leases, keep clothes in the apartments where the couples supposedly lived together, and visit the apartment several days a week so the neighbors would see them together.

The defendants “went to considerable lengths to make the unions appear real,” the federal statements say.

He arranged one “marriage” ceremony at the Chapel of Love inside The Mall of America where Wu and an undercover agent took their wedding vows and swore under oath that the information they provided on their marriage license was true and accurate. After the ceremony and before leaving the mall, He paid the undercover agent $10,000, and then Wu and the undercover agent proceeded to file the marriage certificate with the county clerk.

An anonymous tipster divulged the scam to the feds three years ago.

Wang, released on a $100,000 bond after an appearance in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, is supposed to be arraigned on April 9. That will depend on whether she shows up in court.

Two others will appear in court on Friday in San Diego.

Last May, U.S. authorities shut down an even larger marriage fraud ring when they indicted 96 defedants who operated out of Texas and Vietnam.

That bunch, which charged $50,000-$70,000, was hit with 47 counts of marriage fraud, 50 counts of mail fraud, 51 counts of immigration fraud, 51 counts of false statements under oath in a matter relating to registry of aliens, among other crimes.

Birth Tourism
In September, a Chinese woman confessed to running a major scheme that involved renting 20 apartments for birth tourists. In two months alone, the fraudster paid $60,000 to rent apartments for the birth tourists.

She charged her customers anywhere between $40,000 and $80,000 and collected $3 million in wire transfers from China to help the birth tourists — whose children born here will be American citizens — lie on visa applications and to American diplomats in China about the nature of their visit.

The fraudster even found a way to skirt U.S. immigration control: Book flights from China to Hawaii, and only then fly to Los Angeles, because passing through customs in the Aloha State is easier than on the mainland.

Another birth-tourism operation even catered to Chinese government officials, which might just mean one or more Chinese sleeper agents were born here, one day to be awakened when China needs them.


R. Cort Kirkwood is a long-time contributor to The New American and a former newspaper editor.

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