WASHINGTON, D.C. – A federal grand jury in Las Vegas has indicted two former managers of the Bank of China, their wives, and a relative of one of the couples on charges of racketeering, money laundering and fraud, Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Daniel G. Bogden of the District of Nevada announced today.
Xu Chaofan (a/k/a Hui Yat Fai), Xu Guojun (a/k/a Hui Kit Shun), Kuang Wan Fang (a/k/a Wendy Kuang), Yu Ying Yi, and Kwong Wa Po were charged in the 15-count superseding indictment. The charges in the indictment stem from an elaborate scheme to defraud the Bank of China of at least $485 million, orchestrated by former managers Xu Chaofan, Xu Guojun and a third former bank manager, Yu Zhendong (a/k/a Yu Wing Chung) who has pleaded guilty in connection with this investigation and is cooperating. The scheme allegedly involved efforts by the bank managers to launder the stolen money through, Hong Kong, Canada and the United States, among other countries, and then immigrate to the United States from China with their wives by obtaining false identities and entering into sham marriages with naturalized U.S. citizens. The bank managers’ true wives, Kuang Wan Fang and Yu Ying Yi, allegedly assisted their husbands in laundering the proceeds of the fraudulent scheme and violated U.S. immigration laws by entering this country illegally and then securing United States citizenship and passports through fraudulent means.
The indictment alleges that Kwong Wa Po, the brother of Kuang Wan Fang, a fugitive, participated in the elaborate scheme to launder the stolen money.
The first count of the indictment charges all five defendants with engaging in a RICO conspiracy that began in 1991 and continued until October 2004, upon the arrest of the former bank managers and their wives. The underlying racketeering activities alleged included engaging in monetary transactions with stolen money, transportation of stolen money, passport fraud, and visa fraud. According to the indictment, the former bank managers created a number of shell corporations in Hong Kong and, with the assistance of others, funneled the bank’s money into these companies as well as numerous personal bank and investment accounts. Assisted by their wives, relatives and others, the former bank managers then laundered the stolen proceeds through Canada and the United States. The indictment charges the defendants with laundering a significant amount of the stolen money through Las Vegas casino accounts.
Counts Two and Three of the indictment charge all five defendants with engaging in a money laundering conspiracy and conspiracy to transport stolen money that began in 1998, and continued through October 2004. These conspiracy charges focus on the laundering of the stolen money into the United States. The indictment makes specific reference to financial transactions conducted by each of the five defendants, including the deposit of $2 million in checks made payable to Kwong Wa Po into a RIO Las Vegas Hotel and Casino account made on April 27, 2001.
Counts Four through Nine charge the two former bank managers with three counts each of visa fraud – specifically, the possession and use of a fraudulently procured non-immigrant U.S. visa to enter and/or remain in Las Vegas. Counts Ten through Fifteen charge the two bank managers’ true wives with three counts each of passport fraud – specifically, the use of a U.S. passport secured through a false statement to enter or facilitate their stay in Las Vegas.
Defendants Xu Chofan, Xu Guojun, Kuang Wan Fan and Yu Ying Yi were charged on Sept. 21, 2004 in an 11-count indictment with conspiring to violate, and substantive violations of, U.S. immigration law. The third former bank manager, Yu Zhendong, pleaded guilty to engaging in a racketeering enterprise on Feb. 18, 2004 and voluntarily returned to China, where he is being prosecuted for embezzlement and bribery for his role in the bank theft. Yu Zhendong’s true wife, Yu Xuhui (a/k/a Fion Yu), pleaded guilty to unlawfully procuring U.S. citizenship on April 26, 2005. She has agreed to voluntarily relinquish her American citizenship, but will be permitted to remain in the United States with the couple’s children so long as she does not commit another crime. Yu Zhendong’s fake American wife, Shanna Yu Ma (a/k/a Yu Shuzhan) pleaded guilty to submitting a false statement to the INS, now part of the Department of Homeland Security, in support of Yu Xuhui’s application for naturalization. Like Yu Xuhui, Shanna Yu Ms’s sentencing has been delayed as she continues cooperating in this investigation.
“Investigators were able to piece together the complex scheme of racketeering, money laundering and fraud charged in this indictment because of the extensive cooperation we received from our law enforcement partners overseas,” said Assistant Attorney General Fisher. “We will continue to work closely with our international partners to make sure that the United States is never seen as a haven for criminals to launder the proceeds of their illegal conduct.” This matter is being handled jointly by Trial Attorneys Marty Woelfle and Cynthia Stone of the Organized Crime and Racketeering Section, headed by Bruce Ohr, and Trial Attorney Armando O. Bonilla of the Public Integrity Section, headed by Acting Chief Andrew Lourie. Organized Crime Strike Force Chief Eric Johnson of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Nevada is serving as local counsel. The case was investigated by the Las Vegas, Nevada, Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement of the Department of Homeland Security.