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Thread: Baby Bust: Feds Raid California 'Maternity Hotels'

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    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    Baby Bust: Feds Raid California 'Maternity Hotels'

    Baby Bust: Feds Raid California 'Maternity Hotels'


    NBC News

    Andrew Blankstein and Anna R. Schecter and Tracy Connor4 hrs ago



    Chao Chen, center, surrounded by federal agents after his apartment in Mission Viejo, California, was raided Tuesday morning.

    Southern California apartment complexes that doubled as "maternity hotels" for Chinese women who want made-in-America babies were raided early Tuesday, capping an unprecedented federal sting operation, officials said.

    NBC News was on the scene as Homeland Security agents swept into The Carlyle, a luxury property in Irvine, California, which housed pregnant women and new moms who allegedly forked over $40,000 to $80,000 to give birth in the United States.

    "I am doing this for the education of the next generation," one of the women told NBC News.

    None of the women were arrested; they are being treated as material witnesses, and paramedics were on hand in case any of them went into labor during the sweep.
    Instead, the investigation was aimed at ringleaders who pocketed hundreds of thousands of dollars tax-free to help Chinese nationals obtain visas and then pamper them until they delivered in an American hospital at a discount, court papers show.

    "It's not necessarily illegal to come here to have the baby, but if you lie about your reasons for coming here, that's visa fraud," said Claude Arnold, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations for Los Angeles.

    All told, the feds raided 20 locations in Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino counties, targeting three competing birth tourism schemes, officials said. The suspected operators have not been charged but are being questioned.

    The organizers who allegedly ran the Carlyle site, Chao Chen and Dong Li, used a website to drum up business, touting the benefits of a child with U.S. citizenship: 13 years of free education, low-cost college financial aid, less pollution, and a path for the entire family to emigrate when the child becomes an adult.

    Clients were counseled on what lies to tell to obtain a tourist visa; how to fly through Hawaii, Las Vegas or Korea to avoid suspicious immigration officers at Los Angeles International Airport; and how to disguise their pregnancy in transit, according to search warrant affidavit unsealed Tuesday.

    The women were then set up at the Carlyle, which charges about $3,000 a month for a two-bedroom apartment and features amenities including private balconies, a resort-style pool, and cabanas with flat-screen televisions.

    A neighbor, Linda Trust, told NBC News she did find it strange that she had seen a forklift deliver a huge pile of diapers to the buildings but had never seen a baby.

    The women's handlers provided transportation for doctor visits and trips to restaurants and shops, the court papers say. An agent tailing one of the suspects followed them to Target and Babies R Us.

    They were funneled to several Orange County hospitals to deliver, but they didn't pay full price — approximately $25,000 — for medical services, officials said. Instead, they got reduced rates for the indigent, ranging from nothing to $4,000, the court papers say.

    That translated into big losses for the hospitals. More than 400 babies linked to the scheme were born at just one facility in a two-year period, investigators said.

    The investigators discovered that the parents of one baby born in April 2014 who paid the hospital just $4,000 were spending money at the Wynn Las Vegas Hotel, Rolex and Louis Vuitton, using an account with almost a quarter of a million dollars in it.

    The fraud, authorities say, went beyond the visas.

    Li didn't file a U.S. tax return and Chen didn't declare hundreds of thousands of dollars in proceeds, the affidavit says. In addition, Chen and his wife, Jie Zhu committed marriage fraud, pretending to be divorced so they could get "green-card" marriages in the U.S., the feds charged.

    Efforts to reach Chen, Zhu and Li by phone were unsuccessful. It was not clear if they have retained legal counsel.

    The phenomenon of foreigners coming to the U.S. to have babies is not new but appears to be growing. One study found that 40,000 children a year are born to women here on a travel visa, the affidavit notes.

    Tuesday's crackdown marked the first large-scale federal probe of birth-tourism kingpins in the continental U.S.

    In addition to the operation at the Carlyle, the feds zeroed in on two other alleged schemes.

    Wen Rui Deng, Li Yan Lang and Wen Shan Sun were accused of charging women $10,000 to $25,000 to put them up at the Pheasant Ridge apartments in Rowland Heights, where the "one dragon service" included baby nurses, the court papers say.

    A company called USA Happy Baby, run by Michael Wei Yueh Liu and Jing Dong, set up at The Reserves apartments in Rancho Cucamonga, authorities charged.

    The probe into the Carlyle started in June 2014 when the Irvine Police Department received an anonymous tip about the scheme that was turned over to Homeland Security. Separately, U.S. Customs and Immigration Services received a similar tip.

    An agent posed as a client who wanted to arrange for his cousin to give birth in America, and got Chen to spill the details of the scheme — from how his China-based employees would "prep" the woman for her consulate interview to why she should not fly straight to LA.

    "I don't do it because it's too risky," he said. "That's because 90 percent of the work is already done before they come over, and if they get sent back on the same plane, then I'm the one to blame for it."

    The investigators went through Li's trash, examined hospital records, followed the suspects and their clients on a trip to a Chinese restaurant and and combed through bank records.

    At one point, Chen was caught on tape fretting to the undercover that the government might realize he was not paying taxes he owed on money he collected in China.
    "I do file taxes but there are so any things that I can't explain clearly," he said.
    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/crime...ge=BBIb2fh_1|3

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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Birth tourism brings Russian baby boom to Miami

    "Roman Bokeria, the state director of the Florida Association of Realtors told NBC News that Trump- branded buildings in the Sunny Isles Beach area north of Miami are particularly popular with the Russian birth tourists and Russian immigrants."
    NO AMNESTY

    Don't reward the criminal actions of millions of illegal aliens by giving them citizenship.


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  3. #3
    MW
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    The probe into the Carlyle started in June 2014 when the Irvine Police Department received an anonymous tip about the scheme that was turned over to Homeland Security. Separately, U.S. Customs and Immigration Services received a similar tip.
    This investigation has been going on for over 3 1/2 years and they're just now making arrests? Wow, how ridiculous is that. The wheels of justice turn a lot slower than they should! End birthright citizenship now!
    Beezer, jtdc, Scott-in-FL and 2 others like this.

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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Beezer likes this.
    NO AMNESTY

    Don't reward the criminal actions of millions of illegal aliens by giving them citizenship.


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  5. #5
    Senior Member posylady's Avatar
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    How come American citizens don't get to pay 4000 for delivery of a baby. We are all getting scammed by insurance and Hospitals along with Doctors for medical bills. This is not the first time I have heard of special pricing for immigrants and others. American citizens are being ripped off by the healthcare market and our government supports it.

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    Senior Member hattiecat's Avatar
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    Birth tourism, while troublesome, pales in comparison to the taxpayer funded births of illegal aliens occurring every day, all over this country. This is the real issue. Prenatal care is not emergency care, yet illegals benefit from it, cost free to them, every single day. They give birth without paying, through emergency Medicaid, or otherwise, no questions asked. Hospitals go broke and the country continues its demographic shift, courtesy of birthright citizenship.
    As someone who is 100% prolife, I'm also 100 % for reporting and deporting illegal aliens before they give birth here.
    Whatever it takes, end birthright citizenship now.

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    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    I'm Pro-Choice and agree with you Hattiecat. But I don't think Medicaid should pay for any maternity benefit for anyone. US taxpayers should not pay for someone else's abortion or birthing. Breeding is a personal choice, if you can't afford the hospital bill, you can't afford the child. Don't make me pay for it. Thank you.
    A Nation Without Borders Is Not A Nation - Ronald Reagan
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    Senior Member 6 Million Dollar Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by posylady View Post
    How come American citizens don't get to pay 4000 for delivery of a baby. We are all getting scammed by insurance and Hospitals along with Doctors for medical bills. This is not the first time I have heard of special pricing for immigrants and others. American citizens are being ripped off by the healthcare market and our government supports it.
    Illegal aliens from south of our border, mainly illegal Mexicans, get free healthcare while we have to pay an arm and a leg for it. It almost seems like the system is strongly and purposely encouraging illegals to come here.
    Beezer likes this.

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    Senior Member Beezer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by posylady View Post
    How come American citizens don't get to pay 4000 for delivery of a baby. We are all getting scammed by insurance and Hospitals along with Doctors for medical bills. This is not the first time I have heard of special pricing for immigrants and others. American citizens are being ripped off by the healthcare market and our government supports it.
    JUST TELL THE HOSPITAL YOU HAVE NO I.D.

    TELL THEM YOUR NAME IS JUANITA GONZALEZ!
    TO BECOME AN AMERICAN YOU MUST CHANGE YOUR VALUES ...NOT YOUR LOCATION

    STAY HOME AND BUILD AMERICA ON YOUR SOIL

  10. #10
    Senior Member hattiecat's Avatar
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    Judy, I’m with you; the Medicaid expeditures in this country are bankrupting us, and the Democrats just want to keep expanding it. All able bodied people should have to pay something for their healthcare ,and the mother and father should be financially accountable for their children . I once heard a pastor say “ There aren’t any illegitimate children, but plenty of illegitimate parents “ haha . And taxpayers shouldn’t have to spend one dime on non emergency illegal alien healthcare. E-verify for non emergency prenatal care, then report and deport! Birthright citizenship has to end, and should assist in the self deportation process when it does.
    Beezer, Newmexican and Judy like this.

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