Texas Businessman Admits To Stealing Millions From Investors
SAN JOSE – Keven Chen Chieh Yang pleaded guilty in federal court in San Jose yesterday to defrauding millions from investors of his West Texas cotton businesses, United States Attorney Melinda Haag announced.
In pleading guilty, Yang admitted to making false, material statements causing several people to invest more than $5,000,000 in “cotton recycling businesses” located in the Lubbock, Texas area. Yang’s companies included WestCal, Triangle SuperGin, and OK Sourcing, among others. The investors resided in California, North Carolina, and China, among other places. Yang promised to invest the money in the businesses. Rather than doing so, however, Yang spent millions at casinos and diverted funds to offshore accounts.
Yang, 42, a citizen of Taiwan, Republic of China, and a former resident of Roland Heights, California, was indicted by a federal Grand Jury on July 13, 2011. He was charged with seven counts of wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1343. Under the plea agreement, Yang pleaded guilty to three counts of wire fraud. Yang is currently in custody in San Jose.
Yang’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for November 12, 2013, before The Honorable Ronald M. Whyte, U.S. District Court Judge, in San Jose. The maximum statutory penalty for each count in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1343, is 20 years imprisonment. Yang also agrees to pay restitution to the victims in an amount not less than $3,444,000, as determined by the Court. However, any sentence will be imposed by the court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Kaleba and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward Fluet are prosecuting the case with the assistance of Nina Burney and Lakisha Holliman. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.