Chinese National Sentenced for Immigration Scheme in Irvine

SANTA ANA (CNS) - An Irvine woman who helped operate an Orange County- based scheme to gain citizenship for the offspring of pregnant Chinese nationals who give birth in the U.S. was sentenced today to 10 months in federal prison.

With credit for time served, Dongyuan Li, a 41-year-old Chinese national, is set to be released very soon, but is expected to immediately face deportation proceedings.

Li previously pleaded guilty to one count each of conspiracy to commit immigration fraud and visa fraud, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

U.S. District Judge James Selna said Li's sentence would have been substantially higher if the government had been able to prove she was involved in more cases of lying on visa applications

Li was among 19 defendants indicted in what authorities call “birth tourism,” in which wealthy foreign nationals arrange to deliver children in the U.S. to gain citizenship. She operated a birth tourism company in Irvine and in China called “You Win USA Vacation Services Corp.,” according to her plea agreement.

Li's company advertised it had served more than 500 customers. She used 20 apartments in Irvine to operate the business, in which customers paid $40,000 to $80,000, according to the indictment.

Li, who received $3 million in international wire transfers from China in two years, agreed to give up more than $850,000, a Murrieta residence worth about $500,000 and several Mercedes-Benz vehicles, according to her plea agreement.

Her customers would lie on visa applications and she would coach them on how to get through a consulate interview in China, prosecutors said.

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content