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UPDATE: Former Bank Of China Managers Face U.S. Charges |
02-01-06 06:11 AM EST
HON G KONG (Dow Jones) -- A federal grand jury in Las Vegas has indicted two former Bank of China managers, their wives and a relative in connection with a scheme to defraud the state-owned Chinese bank of $485 million, the Justice Department said Tuesday.
The indictment says Xu Chaofan and Xu Guojun, the former managers, allegedly funneled the money through a shell company in Hong Kong and then on to Canada, the United States and other countries. The funds were eventually passed through Las Vegas Casinos in a scheme that began in 1991 and ran until 2004, when the couples were arrested.
The two couples and a brother of one of the wives were charged with 15 counts of racketeering, money laundering and fraud, the department said in a statement.
Part of the scheme involved immigrating to the United States from China with their wives, Kuang Wanfang and Yu Yingyi, by obtaining false identities and entering into sham marriages with naturalized U.S. citizens, the statement said.
Kuang and Yu allegedly assisted their husbands in laundering the proceeds of the fraudulent scheme and violated U.S. immigration laws by entering the country illegally, then securing U.S. citizenship and passports through fraudulent means.
The indictment alleges that Kuang's brother, who remains a fugitive, helped to launder the money
A third former bank manager, Yu Zhendong, pleaded guilty to engaging in a racketeering enterprise on Feb. 18, 2004 and voluntarily returned to China, where he is being prosecuted for embezzlement and bribery for his role in the bank theft, the statement said.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
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