Seng Xiong Sentenced To 87 Months In Prison For Defrauding Members Of The Hmong Community
Judge ordered Seng Xiong to pay more than $1.2 million in restitution to victims
Acting United States Attorney Gregory G. Brooker today announced the sentencing of SENG XIONG, 49, to 87 months in prison for operating an affinity scheme targeting members of the Hmong community. XIONG, who was found guilty on January 26, 2017, following an eight-day jury trial, was sentenced today before Judge Susan Richard Nelson in U.S. District Court in Saint Paul, Minn.
As proven at trial, from at least mid-2014 through approximately March 2016, XIONG conducted a fraud scheme through his organization “Hmong Tebchaws,” which translates to “Hmong Country,” in which members of the Hmong community were directed to deposit $3,000 to $5,000 into a bank account held in the name of SENG XIONG. In exchange for the payments, victims were promised 10 acres of land, a house, and many other benefits in a future country that would be established as a Hmong homeland somewhere in Southeast Asia.
As proven at trial, XIONG claimed to be working closely with the United States government and the United Nations to establish the new Hmong country somewhere in Southeast Asia. Through a series of YouTube videos and nationwide conference calls, XIONG promoted his scheme in the Hmong language, claiming that he was working with high-ranking officials who had “approved” or “authorized” his proposal and had arranged for land to be set aside for XIONG and his followers.
As proven at trial, XIONG offered several investment options that purported to represent varying levels of return that “founders” would be able to receive on their investment in the new country. Investments between $3,000 and $5,000 would guarantee the investor and his or her future generations, land, a house, free healthcare, free education, and government financial assistance for people over 65 years of age, as well as a return on that investment equal to a percentage of the income generated by the new Hmong country. Those who could not afford the $3,000 - $5,000 “founders” option could pay $20 per month, or $240 per year. This lesser investment would secure a spot in the new Hmong country along with some of the benefits.
This case was the result of an investigation conducted by the Saint Paul Police Department, United States Secret Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Minnesota Financial Crimes Task Force, and Appleton Police Department.
Special assistance was provided by the United States Attorney’s Offices for the Eastern District of California.
Assistant United States Attorneys Amber M. Brennan and Surya Saxena prosecuted this case.
SENG XIONG, 49
- Wire fraud, 1 count
- Mail fraud, 1 count
- 87 months in prison
- Three years supervised release
- $1,226,466.00 in restitution to victims
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United States Attorney’s Office, District of Minnesota: (612) 664-5600