Money Laundering Charges Added in International Marijuana Conspiracy to Grow Marijuana in Houses in Sacramento and Placer Counties
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A grand jury returned a superseding indictment on Thursday that added money laundering charges to six defendants first charged in 2017 in a scheme to use money from China to buy houses to grow marijuana, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.
Charged with money laundering are Xiu Ping Li, 42 of New Jersey, Xiu Ru Li, 46, of Sacramento, Dao Zhong Wei, 50, of Sacramento, Shui Ping Zheng, 56, of Michigan, and Texas residents Kong Liang Li, 53, and You An Li, 53.
According to the charging documents, the defendants conspired with each other and others to wire transfer approximately $870,000 from China to buy six houses for growing marijuana or to pay off the lenders in order to continue growing marijuana in the house.
This case is the product of an investigation by IRS Criminal Investigation, Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and Homeland Security Investigations. Assistant U.S. Attorney Roger Yang is prosecuting the case.
If convicted, the defendants face a maximum statutory penalty on the money laundering charges of 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $500,000 or twice the value of the funds involved, or both. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.