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Old 07-27-2020, 06:13 AM
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Thumbs up Feds arrest California university researchers, accusing them of visa fraud after lyin

Feds arrest California university researchers, accusing them of visa fraud after lying about their ties to China’s military
By: Richard Bammer - Cacaville Reporter with East Bay Times
Re: https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2020/07...inas-military/

The U.S. Department of Justice announced Thursday that four researchers, including one who worked at the University of California, Davis, face charges of visa fraud after lying about their ties to the People’s Republic of China’s military.

Juan Tang, 37, who worked at UC Davis was arrested by the U.S. Marshals Service Thursday night after reportedly seeking refuge in China’s San Francisco consulate and was later booked into Sacramento County Jail.

She is scheduled to appear in a Sacramento federal court at 2 p.m. Monday, said Lauren Horwood, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California. At press time Friday, it was unclear if Tang had an attorney.
(Photo link): https://i0.wp.com/www.thereporter.co...2C9999px&ssl=1

The three others — Xin Wang, Chen Song and Kaikai Zhao, like Tang, all members of China’s military — were either previously arrested or indicted, DOJ officials said in a press statement. Horwood on Friday said the FBI provided no additional details, including regarding court appearances.

“These members of China’s People’s Liberation Army applied for research visas while hiding their true affiliation with the PLA,” Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers said in the statement. “This is another part of the Chinese Communist Party’s plan to take advantage of our open society and exploit academic institutions. We will continue to conduct this investigation together with the FBI.”

If convicted at trial for visa fraud, each of the four face a maximum term of 10 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000.

Federal officials said Tang (pronounced “tongue”), a member of the Chinese Air Force, is accused of concealing her ties to the nation’s military on a visa application she submitted so she could work in the U.S.

Tang was the last of the four to be arrested, after the Justice Department accused the Chinese consulate in San Francisco of harboring a known fugitive.

Wang, who stated on his visa application that he would conduct research at the University of California, San Francisco, was arrested on June 7 and appeared in federal court the next day. A grand jury in the Northern District of California indicted him on June 22. Court documents indicated Wang was instructed by his military supervisor to observe the layout of the UCSF lab and bring back information on how to replicate it in China. Wang,whose work was funded by federal grants, told his UCSF professor that he had duplicated some of his university work at a Chinese lab.

Song, 38, a Chinese national who entered the United States on Dec. 23, 2018, indicated on her visa application that she came to the U.S. to conduct brain-related research at Stanford University. But DOJ officials said Song lied about her service in the People’s Liberation Army, that her true employer was the Chinese Air Force. Court documents further revealed that her computer hard drive allegedly contained a letter to the Chinese consulate in New York City that indicated her stated employer, Beijing Xi Diaoyutai Hospital, was a false front, which is why the letter, which contained classified military documents, could not be sent by email. Song was arrested July 18.

According to a complaint filed in the Southern District of Indiana on July 17, Zhao, a graduate student studying machine learning and artificial intelligence at Indiana University, applied for a non-immigrant visa in June 2018. In response to the question “Have you ever served in the military,” Zhao wrote, “No.”

DOJ officials believe Zhao served in the National University of Defense Technology, the People’s Liberation Army’s premier school for scientific research and education and attended a Chinese military academy that can be compared to the U.S. Air Force Academy. The FBI found an online photo of Zhao wearing a Chinese Air Force uniform. Zhao also was arrested July 18.

As for Tang, FBI agents also found photos of her dressed in military uniform and reviewed articles in China identifying her military affiliation.

UC Davis officials indicated Tang left her job as a visiting researcher in the Department of Radiation Oncology in June. Her work was funded by a study-based exchange program affiliated with China’s Ministry of Education, the university said in a statement.

Agents have said they believe Tang sought refuge at the consulate after they interviewed her on June 20 at her Davis apartment, at 920 Cranbrook Court, where, with a warrant, they later seized electronic media and her Chinese passport.

According to a June 26 criminal complaint, an online search revealed Tang, in an article published in 2019, wearing a Chinese military uniform and listed her employer as the Chinese Air Force Military Medical University. Although Tang denied having been a member of the military, an additional photograph of Tang in a different PLA military uniform was found on electronic media seized after the warrant was served.

The FBI has been interviewing visa holders in more than 25 American cities suspected of hiding their ties to the Chinese military.

The allegations against Tang and the others come as U.S.-China relations continue to deteriorate, particularly over allegations of Chinese theft of U.S. intellectual property.
China’s consulate in Houston was scheduled to shut down Friday on order of U.S. authorities after the Trump administration accused Chinese agents of trying to steal medical and other research in Texas and commercial and military secrets elsewhere.

The consulate-closure order, issued Tuesday, was only the latest U.S. action to infuriate Chinese leaders. In the recent weeks, Beijing has endured a heightened campaign against its 5G wireless technology, sanctions against officials overseeing Hong Kong and the largely Muslim region of Xinjiang.

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Wow! It's like they are everywhere nowadays. Custom's folks must be quit busy following up with people with Visa's and where they work they must have to do alot of background checks? You would think they've done that prior to allowing them in or giving them job assignments?

Boats
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O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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