US residents federally charged with China-directed bribery scheme targeting spiritual practice banned in PRC

Two U.S. residents accused of acting as unregistered agents for the Chinese government have been charged with bribery and money laundering by the federal government in New York, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement.

John Cheng, 70, and Lin Feng, 43, were arrested in Los Angeles on Friday and charged with conspiring to bribe public officials and launder money to target people who participate in Falun Gong spiritual practices. was indicted on It is based on the instructions of the government of the People’s Republic of China.

Falun Gong is banned by the Chinese government, which sees it as a threat to its rule.

“John Cheng and Lin Feng allegedly carried out a campaign to influence US government officials to promote the Chinese government’s crackdown on Falun Gong practitioners under orders from the People’s Republic of China government,” Damian said. U.S. Attorney Williams said: statement. “The effort to manipulate and use the weapons of the United States government to pursue the authoritarian objectives of the government of the People’s Republic of China is both insidious and shocking. I will work hard to protect it.”

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Falun Gong participants protest near the US Capitol in 2018. (Yassin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images, File)

Mr. Chen and Mr. Feng tried to whistle to the IRS to strip the Falun Gong entities of their tax-exempt status, and earlier this month they bribed an undercover investigator posing as an IRS official with the promise of $5,000 and the following: accused of trying to receive $50,000 or more if an attorney initiates the audit and proceeds with the complaint.

Neither Chen nor Feng notified the U.S. Attorney General that they were allegedly acting as agents for China since January.

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In a recorded call, Mr Chen is said to have said the bribes funded by the Chinese government had the express purpose of “subverting the state”.[ing] . . . Falun Gong. ”

In another call intercepted by authorized eavesdropping, the two men discussed acting on the “instructions” of certain Chinese officials, deleting the officials’ instructions to avoid detection and “be alert.”[ing]”to” sound[ing] Reminder if the IRS meeting doesn’t go as planned.”

According to the Justice Department, they said Chinese officials were “responsible” for the plan.

Mr. Cheng and Mr. Feng are said to have met with the undercover agent in Newburgh, New York, on May 14, and Mr. Fong initially handed the investigator $1,000, which he will pay if the complaint succeeds in opening an audit. He promised to pay $50,000 plus 60% of what the whistleblower receives.

Four days later, Mr. Chen said he met with his agent at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and gave him an additional $4,000.

Mr. Chen is a US citizen and former Chinese national, and Mr. Feng is a current Chinese citizen. Both are US residents living in Los Angeles.


Both Chen and Feng have been charged with conspiracy to bribe public officials, acting as agents of foreign governments without notifying the attorney general, and face up to five years in prison. He has one count of acting as an agent of a foreign government without notifying the Attorney General, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. 1 count of bribery to a public official, maximum 5 years imprisonment. A maximum of 20 years in prison for conspiracy to commit international money laundering.

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