LOS ANGELES (AP) — The ex-wife of a former Chinese official will forfeit nearly $30 million worth of California property after pleading guilty to defrauding immigration officials as part of a scheme to escape to the U.S. with stolen public funds from China.
The U.S. attorney’s office announced on Jan. 11 that Shilan Zhao, 53, of Newcastle, Wash., falsely claimed she was still married to her ex-husband, Jianjun Qiao, to obtain U.S. visas through an immigrant investor program.
The Los Angeles Times reports that Zhao also lied about the source of the money she was investing as part of the visa program.
Officials say the divorced couple bought property the San Gabriel Valley and Washington state through fraudulent transactions at a grain storehouse in China, where Qiao was a director.
Zhao will be sentenced in November. Qiao remains a fugitive.