Two Taiwanese Nationals Charged in New Jersey with Allegedly Conspiring to Export Sensitive U.S. Military Technology to China

April 25, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on April 25, 2012 released the following:

Alleged Conspiracy Uncovered Through Investigations into Large-Scale, International Schemes to Import Counterfeit Goods and Drugs Through Port Newark

NEWARK—Two Taiwanese nationals are charged for allegedly seeking to export sensitive U.S. military technology to China after federal agents investigating counterfeit goods smuggling uncovered plots to smuggle drugs into and sensitive defense articles out of the United States, Paul J. Fishman, U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey; and Michael B. Ward, Special Agent in Charge for the FBI Newark Division, announced today.

Hui Sheng Shen, aka “Charlie,” 45; and Huan Ling Chang, aka “Alice,” 41, were previously charged in connection with an alleged scheme to import 50 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine, or “meth,” from Taiwan into the United States. Those charges arose as a result of parallel international investigations that also disrupted conspiracies to import hundreds of millions of dollars in counterfeit goods from China.

Federal agents arrested Shen and Chang on February 25, 2012 in New York. The pair was charged in a criminal complaint unsealed March 2, 2012, with one count of conspiracy to import and one count of importation of meth. The amended complaint unsealed today also charges Shen and Chang with conspiracy to violate the Arms Export Control Act.

According to the amended complaint, approximately one kilogram of nearly pure crystal meth was purchased from Shen and Chang as part of an undercover law enforcement operation, which stopped the importation of dozens of additional kilograms of the drug. Based on relationships undercover law enforcement agents built with Shen and Chang, the two defendants allegedly provided a list of sensitive defense articles they sought to buy and planned to return to connections in China. The articles included unmanned aerial vehicles (commonly known as drones), E-2C Hawkeye surveillance airplanes, and stealth technology relating to F-22 fighter planes.

Shen and Chang are scheduled to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Cathy L. Waldor this afternoon in Newark federal court.

“Initial investigations into counterfeit goods importation led federal law enforcement to a meth trafficking operation and an alleged plot to export some of America’s most sensitive weapons and related technology to China,” said U.S. Attorney Fishman. “The charges against Shen and Chang illustrate starkly why we do this work, and what is at stake when the security of our ports is breached for any reason. National security isn’t an a la carte enterprise. The same conduits that bring knockoff sneakers flood our communities with illegal drugs and establish dangerous criminal relationships.”

According to documents filed in this and related cases and the amended criminal complaint unsealed today:

Soon Ah Kow, 72, of Hong Kong, was charged by indictment with drug importation, smuggling, and counterfeit goods trafficking offenses by a Newark federal grand jury on January 6, 2012 and arrested on February 25, 2012 in Manila, the Philippines. Ah Kow was in the business of brokering international transactions of illegal goods. Operating out of Southeast Asia, he met with and introduced his co-conspirators to undercover federal agents (FBI UCs) for the purpose of importing counterfeit goods and narcotics from Asia to the United States.

In late 2010, Ah Kow began discussions with FBI UCs about narcotics importation, meeting in February 2011 with FBI UCs in Manila where he introduced them to his associates, Shen and Chang. In Manila, Ah Kow told the FBI UCs that Shen and Chang represented the interests of Ah Kow’s associates, wealthy narcotics dealers who had been trafficking drugs for more than 25 years. Ah Kow and Shen arranged for the delivery of a sample of crystal meth to the FBI UCs’ hotel lobby, which arrived within hours of a call Ah Kow placed to an associate.

Following negotiations over recorded telephone calls and intercepted e-mails, the FBI UCs arranged payment to cover the price of one kilogram of crystal meth, shipping costs, and a broker’s fee for Ah Kow. In July 2011, the FBI UCs received a bill of lading for the container that included the meth, which arrived at the port on August 9, 2011. The drugs were discovered secreted within the container in the exact location described by Shen and Chang.

During negotiations for the one kilogram meth deal, Shen and Chang made clear they usually did larger transactions, but agreed to do a smaller transaction to establish trust among the parties. They discussed shipping more than 50 kilograms of meth to the United States.

In September 2011, Shen and Chang asked whether the FBI UCs could obtain and pass along highly sensitive military technology, specifically, a Hawkeye reconnaissance aircraft, which the defendants instructed should be referred to as the “big toy.”

During other recorded conversations, the defendants indicated their clients were interested in a range of American military technology. Shen, Chang, and an FBI UC met in October 2011 in Las Vegas, where they discussed narcotics and the export of the technology. Chang provided the FBI UC with a list of specific military technology items they sought.

At a Las Vegas meeting, FBI UCs asked what purposes Shen and Chang had for any military technology they were seeking to obtain. When an FBI UC stated, “I would prefer not to make money on something that would hurt the United States,” Shen replied, “I think that all items would hurt America.”

During a series of recorded phone conversations and in-person meetings, the defendants told FBI UCs that their associates were connected to the Chinese government, worked for a Chinese intelligence company like the CIA, and would be using government money to make the purchases.

Describing their associates in one call, Chang said, “Their status is a bit special, so in order to travel to U.K. or United States, all developed countries, for them it’s hard for them to…” Shen interrupted, “They are spies. They, they, they are very hard to get a visa. They cannot go to U.S. or U.K.”

Shen and Chang returned to the United States in February 2012 to finalize negotiations for a series of larger drug transactions and to look at and photograph certain military technology that the FBI UCs said they had acquired. Shen and Chang met with FBI UCs in New York to see a small drone, used by the U.S. military, as well as manuals associated with other drones. Shen and Chang had purchased cameras for the explicit purpose of taking photographs of the defense technology. The pair planned to avoid law enforcement detection by taking photographs, deleting those photographs, and bringing the memory cards back to China, where a contact had the ability to recover deleted items. The defendants took the photos, but FBI agents were there to arrest them before the photos could be deleted.

The conspiracy to violate the Arms Export Control Act charge carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The meth importation conspiracy and meth importation charges each carry a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison and a maximum penalty of life in prison and a $4 million fine.

U.S. Attorney Fishman praised special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Ward in Newark, for the investigation leading to the export violation conspiracy charge, as well as ICE Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Andrew M. McLees, for its work in the parallel investigation. He also thanked Customs and Border Protection, under the direction of Robert E. Perez, Director, New York Field Operations, for its important role. U.S. Attorney Fishman also credited the U.S. Air Force Office of Investigations; FBI special agents in Manila, Beijing, Hong Kong, and Taiwan; the Philippine authorities; and the Department of Justice’s Organized Crime and Gangs Section, National Security Division, Office of Enforcement Operation, and Office of International Affairs for their contributions.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Zach Intrater and Chief Erez Liebermann of the Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Economic Crimes Unit and Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Pak of the Office’s General Crimes Unit in Newark.

The charges and allegations contained in the amended complaint charging Shen and Chang and the indictment charging Ah Kow are merely accusations, and the defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Detention Hearing

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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Florida Man Arrested, Charged with Bankruptcy Fraud

February 29, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on February 28, 2012 released the following:

“Allegedly Concealed More Than $1.5 Million in Personal Assets

NEWARK, NJ—A former Ocean County, N.J., resident was arrested today and charged with hiding hundreds of thousands of dollars in assets in connection with his November 2008 personal bankruptcy petition, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Bryan Young, 39, formerly of Toms River, N.J., and now living in Venice, Fla., turned himself in to agents of the FBI in Newark. He is charged by complaint with two counts of bankruptcy fraud and is scheduled to make his initial appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Cathy L. Waldor in Newark federal court.

According to the criminal complaint unsealed today:

On Nov. 5, 2008, Young, who was then living in New Jersey, filed for individual Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey. In his petition, Young concealed more than $1.5 million in personal assets, failing to disclose the existence of four financial accounts—or that any of these accounts were closed as of the date of the filing of his petition—with total balances of more than $650,000. Young failed to disclose the purchase of approximately $13,000 worth of furniture or the sale of a 2003 Ford truck, worth approximately $10,000, within months of the filing. He listed no income other than from employment or the operation of a business. However, according to documents obtained from eBay Inc., Young had eBay sales totaling more than $250,000 in 2007 and 2008. Young failed to disclose transfers of more than $250,000 into a bank account in the name of his son, and approximately $248,000 into an account controlled by Young himself.

Young also made numerous materially false statements under oath in relation to his bankruptcy petition. On Dec. 12, 2008, Young testified that he did not own any stocks, bonds, or mutual funds. However, at the time of the filing of his petition, one of Young’s financial account investment statements showed investments in stocks, bonds, and mutual funds that were worth approximately $100,000 within months of the filing. On Feb. 13, 2009, Young claimed he had only one bank account, but at the time of his filing had at least four bank accounts. Young claimed that he owned only one motor vehicle, a 2006 Ford F-350, but N.J. Department of Motor Vehicle records show he also owned a 1993 Mitsubishi GT and a 2003 Ford truck. Young claimed he had no assets over and above the amount listed in his petition, but had at least $13,000 worth of furniture that was not disclosed in his petition.

The bankruptcy fraud charge carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward in Newark; IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge JoAnn Zuniga, and Region 3 U.S. Trustee Roberta DeAngelis and the Newark office of the U.S. Trustee, with the investigation leading to today’s arrest.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron Mendelsohn of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Economic Crimes Unit in Newark.

The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations and the defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.

This case was brought in coordination with President Barack Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. President Obama established the interagency Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force to wage an aggressive, coordinated, and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. The task force includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general, and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources. The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch, and with state and local partners, to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Detention Hearing

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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Alleged “Bloods” Leader Narik Wilson Charged in a Federal Criminal Complaint with Being a Felon in Possession of Firearms

August 27, 2011

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) on August 26, 2011 released the following:

““Bloods” Leader Arrested, Charged with Possessing Arsenal of Weapons Tied to Murders and Other Violent Acts in Newark

AUG 26 – NEWARK, N.J. – Brian R. Crowell, the Special Agent in Charge of the New Jersey Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Paul J. Fishman , the United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey, announced an alleged leader of the Sex Money Murder set of the “Bloods” street gang was arrested today and charged with possessing eleven firearms, including two firearms tied to homicides in Newark, New Jersey.

Narik Wilson, a/k/a “Spaz,” 26, of Newark, N.J., was arrested today and charged by criminal complaint with two counts of being a felon in possession of firearms. Count One charges that on April 28, 2011, Wilson unlawfully possessed three firearms, including an assault rifle and a shotgun. Count Two charges that on July 18, 2011, Wilson unlawfully possessed eight firearms, including two assault rifles and two shotguns.

According to the Complaint that was unsealed today:

Wilson was identified as a leader of the “Sex Money Murder” set of the Bloods street gang. He and other members of the gang were engaged in a “street war” with a rival gang in Newark. Law enforcement received information that Wilson and the other gang members were hiding guns in vacant apartments in Newark.

On April 28, 2011, law enforcement conducted a search at one of these apartments, finding an assault rifle, a shotgun, and a semi-automatic pistol, as well as hundreds of rounds of various types of ammunition, a mask, and heroin. On July 18, 2011, law enforcement searched another vacant apartment, finding eight firearms, including two assault rifles, two shotguns, and other semi-automatic weapons, along with over 100 rounds of various types of ammunition, two ski masks, and cocaine.

After the seizures, Wilson told a confidential witness that he was at war with a rival gang and that law enforcement had seized his firearms from the apartments. Wilson also stated that he was attempting to acquire more guns.

Ballistics analyses demonstrated that two firearms seized on July 18, 2011 were linked to a double homicide in Newark in 2010 and a homicide in Newark in 2011. In addition, analyses also linked seized weapons to 10 other shootings in Newark in 2010 and 2011.

The charges in the Complaint each carry a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The case is assigned to Hon. Joseph A. Dickson, United States Magistrate Judge in Newark.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Safe Streets Task Force, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward, the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Brian R. Crowell, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Matthew W. Horace, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray, and the Newark Police Department, under the direction of Director Samuel DeMaio and Police Chief Sheilah Coley, with the investigation leading to today’s arrest and charges.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Robertson of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Organized Crime/Gangs Unit in Newark.”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN List Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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