2 New York residents charged with $27 million investment fraud scheme: Feds

  • Two New York residents have been arrested in connection with an investment scam defrauding more than 150 investors.
  • Sherry Xue Li and Lianbo Wang have been charged with wire fraud conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy.
  • They are accused of using program funds to make illegal donations to US politicians and political campaigns.

Two New York residents were arrested in connection with a $27 million investment scam, which included billing 12 investors $93,000 each to attend a Trump fundraiser in 2017 , according to a federal criminal complaint.

Sherry Xue Li, 50, and Lianbo Wang, 45, both of Oyster Bay, New York, have been charged with conspiracy to wire fraud, conspiracy to launder money and conspiracy to defraud the United States by obstructing the administration of the campaign by the Federal Election Commission (FEC). finance laws, according to a press release from the Ministry of Justice.

Federal investigators said Li and Wang’s nearly decade-long ‘massive multi-layered fraud scheme’ deceived investors, many of whom were foreign nationals living outside the United States, into investing in a fictional project to build a private educational facility in Sullivan County, New York. York, called the “Thompson Education Center”.

Michael Driscoll, deputy director in charge of the FBI, accused Li and Wang of also promising investors “green cards, access to political figures, and dividends on their money” from the education center, producing tens of millions of dollars” from investors. and straw donors.

But of all their promises, Driscoll said “only one promise has materialized, access to political power”.

The scam attracted more than 150 investors in July 2022, according to the federal government.

Investigators said Li and Wang took money from investors and illegally gave it to U.S. politicians and political committees under their names, including charging 12 investors $93,000 each to attend a fundraiser. Trump fund on June 28, 2017 and take photos with then-President Donald Trump. .

According to the press release from the MJ.

Li, Wang and their guest investors then took photos with Trump, using the photographs to solicit more investment in their fictional Thompson Education Center project.

Representatives for Trump and Wang’s attorney, James Roth, did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment. Li’s attorney, Nora Hirozawa, declined to comment.

In addition to the $600,000 donation to the Trump fundraising committee, Li also donated over $32,000 to the Republican National Committee in October 2016, as well as a $55,000 donation to the Governor of New York from then Andrew Cuomo when he sought re-election in 2014, according to a 2017 profile of Li published by USA Today. It was not immediately clear whether these donations were part of the investment scam.

“It is alleged that Li and Wang defrauded their victim-investors out of millions, then used their ill-gotten gains to live lavishly and ‘rub shoulders’ with prominent politicians,” Thomas Fattorusso, IRS Special Agent in Charge: CI New York, said in a statement.

Fattorusso added: “It is through partnerships and collaboration with law enforcement that we have been able to end this multi-layered fraud scheme and ensure that the alleged culprits are now brought to justice for their criminal behavior.”

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