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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Chinese national sentenced to 3 years in prison for birth tourism

    News Releases

    DOCUMENT AND BENEFIT FRAUD

    06/30/2020


    Fugitive Chinese national sentenced to more than 3 years in prison for his role in large-scale birth tourism and immigration fraud ring


    ICE HSI led massive probe into multi-million-dollar criminal enterprise leading to changes in the official rules for issuing visas for travel to the US for the purpose of giving birth







    SANTA ANA, Calif. – A Chinese national was sentenced in absentia today to 37 months in federal prison for participating in a large-scale birth tourism scheme that engaged in visa fraud that allowed foreign nationals to come to the United States and give birth so their children would receive U.S. birthright citizenship.

    Chao “Edwin” Chen (陈超), 35, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge James V. Selna. Chen pleaded guilty in June 2016 to visa fraud, marriage fraud and filing a false tax return. Soon after pleading guilty, Chen fled to China and remains a fugitive.

    This case, as well as the others named below, is the result of an extensive investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Los Angeles and IRS Criminal Investigation.

    Substantial assistance was provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and the Irvine Police Department.


    “As these cases clearly demonstrate, HSI will leave no stone unturned in aggressively targeting those who would exploit our nation’s generosity and legal immigration system – only to make a mockery of our laws and values in order to enrich themselves, said David A. Prince, special agent in charge for HSI Los Angeles. “The public safety and national security implications of visa fraud and the crimes associated with it are real – and will simply not be tolerated.”


    Along with
    Dongyuan Li (李冬媛), 42, of Irvine, and Li’s husband, Qiang Yan (闫强), 44, Chen was charged in the nation's first cases alleging organized birth tourism operations. Chen operated an Orange County-based business named You Win USA, which they marketed to pregnant foreign nationals – mostly from China – who wanted to come to the United States to obtain U.S. citizenship for their children. As part of the scheme, Chen, Li and Yan coached the foreign nationals to misrepresent the true intentions of their visits to United States at ports of entry.

    Chen operated an Orange County-based business named
    You Win USA, which they marketed to pregnant foreign nationals – mostly from China – who wanted to come to the United States to obtain U.S. citizenship for their children. As part of the scheme, Chen, Li and Yan coached the foreign nationals to misrepresent the true intentions of their visits to United States at ports of entry.

    You Win USA advertised that its “100-person team” in China and the U.S. had served more than 500 Chinese birth tourism customers. Chen and Li used 20 apartments in Irvine, charged each customer $40,000 to $80,000, and received $3 million in international wire transfers from China in just two years. You Win USA promoted the benefits of giving birth in the United States rather than in China, which included “13 years of free education from grade school to high school,” “Less pollution” than China,” “An easier way for the whole family to immigrate to the United States,” and “Priority for jobs in U.S. government, public companies, and large corporations.”


    When he pleaded guilty, Chen admitted that he had served at least 60 customers, including People’s Republic of China government employees. For example, one of You Win USA’s customers,
    Xiao Yan Liu (刘小燕), was indicted in November 2018 for two counts of visa fraud and one count of lying to federal investigators. According to her visa application, she was the “Chief Physician” at the Henan Shangqiu Power Supply Company Staff Hospital.

    Chen admitted in his plea agreement that in June 2014, he met with an HSI undercover agent (UCA) posing as a birth tourism customer, which resulted in a co-conspirator uploading a visa application in China that contained false information about the UCA’s length of travel, location of stay, and personal information. After that fake visa application was uploaded, Chen put the UCA in touch with his “trainer” in China to teach the pregnant customer how to trick U.S. customs and enter the United States without her pregnancy being detected.


    Chen admitted that in addition to the birth tourism scheme, he also engaged in marriage fraud for himself. According to his plea agreement, Chen entered into a sham marriage to a U.S. citizen and paid the woman $25,000 so he could obtain a green card. In February 2014, Chen also filed a false 2013 federal income tax return in order to prove the legitimacy of his sham marriage, which falsely claimed his gross receipts were $227,453.

    Li was sentenced in December 2019 to 10 months in federal prison for her role in the scheme.

    Yan, who is a fugitive believed to be in China, was indicted in December 2018 on three counts of visa fraud for filing an application for an “O” visa premised upon being an “alien of extraordinary ability,” which falsely claimed that he had co-authored two books. According to Yan’s indictment, when HSI special agents searched his and Li’s home in 2015, he claimed to have more than $10 million in his Chinese bank accounts.


    At least 10 other defendants charged in these birth tourism indictments have fled to China, including Jun Xiao (肖俊) and LongJing Yi (易珑静), who were indicted in February 2018 on charges of conspiracy, visa fraud, obstruction of justice, and criminal contempt. According to court documents in their case, Xiao and Yi paid only $4,600 of the $32,291 in hospital charges related to the birth of their baby in Orange County.

    The indictments also detail communications from Xiao after he had fled to China, where he continued to denigrate a federal court order requiring him to stay in the United States: “U.S. can’t do anything to me.”


    In January 2020, the U.S. Department of State cited these birth tourism cases when changing the official rules for issuing visas for travel to the United States for the purpose of giving birth.


    This matter was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California’s Santa Ana Branch Office.


    Last Reviewed/Updated: 07/01/2020


    https://www.ice.gov/news/releases/fu...ge-scale-birth

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  2. #2
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    NO AMNESTY

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


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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Senior Member Beezer's Avatar
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    Revoke every one of those birth certificates!

    They are NOT U.S. citizens and this is fraud.
    TO BECOME AN AMERICAN YOU MUST CHANGE YOUR VALUES ...NOT YOUR LOCATION

    STAY HOME AND BUILD AMERICA ON YOUR SOIL

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    Chinese man who ran birth tourism operation in Irvine sentenced

    Companies targeted in 2015 raids charged pregnant women, mostly from China, $40,000 to $100,000.


    Federal agents enter an apartment complex on March 3, 2015, in Irvine, Calif. Shortly after sunrise, federal agents swarmed the complex, where authorities say a birth tourism business operated. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

    By ROXANA KOPETMAN | rkopetman@scng.com | Orange County Register
    PUBLISHED: June 30, 2020 at 12:49 p.m. | UPDATED: July 1, 2020 at 8:37 a.m.


    A Chinese national who ran an Irvine-based travel company targeted by federal officials as a birth tourism operation was sentenced Tuesday to 37 months in prison.

    But Chao “Edwin” Chen wasn’t in court to hear his sentence. He fled to China in 2016.


    Chen was one of the operators of “You Win USA Vacation Resort,” which ran a thriving business at the Carlysle Apartments in Irvine. The company’s primary customers were well-to-do pregnant women, mostly from China, who were sold travel packages that included a place to stay in the United States and people to take care of them before and after they delivered babies who, by law, were American citizens.


    In the early morning of March 3, 2015, Chao’s “You Win” operation was one of three birth tourism companies raided by some 200 federal agents who knocked on doors in Irvine, Mission Viejo, Rancho Cucamonga, Rowland Heights and Walnut. While it is not illegal to run such a business, it is illegal to commit immigration and visa fraud in the process — crimes which the birth tourism operators later were accused of committing.


    This year, the U.S. Department of State issued a new rule that makes it difficult to get a U.S. travel visa for the purpose of giving birth.

    The birth tourism operators raided in 2015 committed numerous crimes, including visa fraud by helping women lie on their visa application about the true purpose of their trip, according to court documents.

    The companies charged women as much as $100,000 for travel and care packages that included housing, meals and transportation to medical offices. The pricier packages featured shopping sprees to South Coast Plaza and Beverly Hills and field trips to Disneyland.


    Chao pleaded guilty on June 13, 2016 to visa fraud, marriage fraud and filing a false tax return.

    But a month later, before he was sentenced, Chao fled the country. In December 2018, he was also charged with contempt of court for fleeing the U.S. while his sentencing was pending.


    On Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge James V. Selna in Santa Ana handed Chao a 37 month prison sentence for the visa, marriage and tax fraud guilty plea.


    His sentence means that should he return to the United States, “there’s an arrest warrant for him and he’ll have to serve his time,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles Pell.


    Chao’s partner, Dongyuan Li, was sentenced last December to a 10-month prison term. That was believed to be the first sentence handed to a birth tourism operator in the nation. Li had already been in prison and served her time, so she was released immediately and left for China before a deportation order was carried out.


    At least 10 other defendants charged in related birth tourism indictments have fled to China.

    Chao and Li’s “You Win” company advertised a “100-person team” to Chinese birth tourism customers. It promoted the benefits of giving birth in the United States, including “13 years of free education from grade school to high school,” less pollution than in China, and the opportunity to help ease immigration for other family members down the road if the child is an American citizen.

    In his plea agreement, Chen admitted that in June 2014, while meeting with an undercover agent posing as a birth tourism customer, he put that agent in touch with a “trainer” in China. That trainer, according to court documents, helped teach pregnant customers “how to trick U.S. Customs” and enter the United States without being detected, federal officials said.


    The cases were developed by the investigative arms of Homeland Security and the Internal Revenue Service, with assistance from local and federal agencies.


    Despite the government’s issuance earlier this year of a new rule that seeks to block the so-called birth tourists, the practice continues.


    In April, the city of Orange ordered the shutdown of a small motel that was operating as a birth tourism venue. City officials in Orange ordered the closure because the motel was not approved as a boarding or lodging house. The J.R. Motel had no signs and did not take reservations from the public. It catered only to Chinese women before and after giving birth.

    https://www.ocregister.com/2020/06/3...ine-sentenced/

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