Bond Denied for Chinese Businessman Charged in South Florida Federal Court with Visa Fraud
Miami, Florida – A 57-year-old Chinese businessman who is charged in a federal grand jury indictment with entering the United States using fraudulently-obtained visas will remain behind bars pending trial in Miami.
Jianxiang Shi was arrested this week at a convention in Las Vegas, Nevada where he was promoting a cryptocurrency venture. He made his first federal court appearance yesterday before a magistrate judge in Las Vegas. During the appearance, the federal magistrate judge ordered Shi detained pending his trial in Miami, finding that Shi presents a risk of flight if released. Future court proceedings will occur in the Southern District of Florida.
According to the superseding indictment unsealed yesterday, Shi lied in order to obtain two non-immigrant visas, which he then used to enter the United States, at Miami International Airport, in 2016. Shi represented in both applications that he had never used another name when, in fact, he had an alternate identity and travel documents under the name “Long Niu,” it is alleged. Shi used travel documents with the Long Niu identity to enter the United States in February 2017, and has been living in California and Nevada as “Morgan Shi” since leaving China, prosecutors alleged during yesterday’s court hearing.
The superseding indictment charges Shi with two counts of fraud and misuse of United States nonimmigrant visas. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
Juan Antonio Gonzalez, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Jessica Moore, Chief of the Criminal Investigations Division of the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS), made the announcement.
DSS investigated this matter with assistance from the Drug Enforcement Administration, Special Operations Division (DEA-SOD). Assistant U.S. Attorney Will J. Rosenzweig is prosecuting the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney William Zloch is handling asset forfeiture.
A superseding indictment is only an accusation and defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or at http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov, under case number 21-cr-20421.
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