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Press Release

Chinese National Sentenced for Role in International Fraud Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Rhode Island

PROVIDENCE, RI – A Chinese national who overstayed a student visa was sentenced by a federal judge in Providence today to time served –effectively a period of seven months-- for participating in an international fraud ring that targeted individuals in several states, announced United States Attorney Zachary A. Cunha.

Fangzhou Qian, 29, pleaded guilty on November 15, 2023, to a charge of conspiracy to commit offenses against the United States. Qian was sentenced today by U.S. District Court Chief Judge John J. McConnell, Jr., to time served and one year of federal supervised release.

Qian has been detained in federal custody since making an initial appearance in U.S. District Court on June 30, 2023.

According to information presented to the court, operating at the direction of others, including individuals in China, Qian acted as a courier to collect cash from fraud victims. Members of the conspiracy targeted individuals in several states, including Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, New Hampshire, and New Jersey. At the time of Qian’s arrest by Portsmouth, RI, police, Qian was found to be in possession of more than 2,000 gift cards from various stores in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney G. Michael Seaman.

The matter was investigated by the Portsmouth Police Department and Homeland Security Investigations.

Contact

Jim Martin

(401) 709-5357

Updated January 31, 2024

Press Release Number: 24-11