LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A former Chinese official who was a fugitive for more than five years is expected to plead guilty today to a federal conspiracy charge alleging he laundered millions of dollars and used some of the stolen funds to purchase properties in Monterey Park.
Jianjun Qiao, 58, was extradited from Sweden to Los Angeles last year to face charges originally filed seven years ago.
A federal grand jury in July 2014 indicted Qiao and his ex-wife, alleging two separate schemes. An expanded indictment against Qiao returned in December 2018 charges him with conspiracy to commit immigration fraud and international transport of stolen money, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and three counts of engaging in financial transactions in criminally derived property.
Prosecutors allege that as the director of a grain storehouse in Zhoukou City, Henan Province, from 1998 to 2011, Qiao laundered millions of dollars in proceeds related to fraudulent transactions through banks in China, Hong Kong and Singapore. The indictment alleges that Qiao then used the stolen funds to, among other things, purchase the Monterey Park properties.
Qiao's ex-wife, Shilan Zhao, 58, of Newcastle, Washington, pleaded guilty in January 2017 to conspiring with her former husband to falsely portray themselves as still married and lying about the source of Zhao's foreign investment, which was required under the EB-5 immigrant investor program to obtain U.S. immigrant visas. She is scheduled to be sentenced in March.