03 Jun 2020
US authorities said on Monday that they had extradited a former Chinese official from Sweden to Los Angeles to face charges of money laundering and immigration fraud.
The US Department of Justice (DOJ) said it took Qiao Jianjun into custody on Friday for, among other charges, allegedly conspiring to commit international transport of funds stolen from a government grain storage business that he managed in Henan province; and conspiring to commit money laundering, according to a statement from the US attorney for the Central District of California.
Qiao allegedly used some funds to buy two properties in Monterey Park, California, a city east of downtown Los Angeles, and some for an immigrant investor programme called EB-5, which lets foreigners apply for US citizenship in exchange for investment in real estate projects that generate jobs.
As the director of the grain storehouse, “Qiao allegedly laundered millions of dollars in proceeds related to fraudulent transactions through banks in China, Hong Kong, and Singapore”, according to the statement.
The defendent’s former wife, Zhao Shilan, pleaded guilty in 2017 for falsely stating that she was still married to Qiao and the source of the funds used for the EB-5 programme.
Qiao was due to be arraigned on Monday afternoon in Los Angeles.
Qiao’s case is the second time in less than two years that the DOJ has coordinated with a European Union country to expedite a Chinese national to the US to face trial.
By Robert Delaney, South China Morning Post, 2 June 2020
Read more at South China Morning Post
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