LOS ANGELES (CN) - The former head of a Chinese government agency and his ex-wife are charged with visa fraud and using laundered, fraudulently obtained money to buy a house.
Jianjun Qiao aka Feng Li, 51, is a fugitive, the U.S. Attorney's Office said Tuesday. He was director of the Zhoukou Municipal Grain Reserve in Henan Province from 1998 to 2011.
His ex-wife, Shilan Zhao, 51, of Newcastle, Wash. was arrested Tuesday in Newcastle. She is being held without bond.
The indictment, unsealed Tuesday, accuses them of conspiracy to commit immigration fraud and money laundering, and international transport of stolen funds. Zhao is also charged with immigration fraud.
The couple are accused of fraudulently obtaining immigrant visas under the EB-5 immigrant investor program, which grants visas to people who promise to invest $500,000 or more in a U.S. business.
The indictment accuses them of using laundered, fraudulently obtained money from the Chinese grain reserve to buy a house in Newcastle, a Seattle suburb.
Zhao is due back in court in Seattle on Friday. Authorities are looking for Qiao.
In addition to criminal penalties of up to 30 years in prison, the government seeks forfeiture of their house.
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