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The Case of the Chinese Embezzlers

21st Century Bank Robbery
The Case of the Chinese Embezzlers


042904embezzleh.jpgThink "bank robbery" and you think "stick 'em up."

But that's for amateurs, desperados, and the pages of history. This is, after all, the 21st century.

In October 2001, the Kaiping Sub-branch of the Bank of China in Guangdong province, People's Republic of China, discovered that a local organized crime group had embezzled, stolen, and laundered at least $500 million from its vaults through accounts in Hong Kong, Macau, Canada and the U.S.

The conspiracy discovered, two things happened:

1. Panicand a run on the banking system in southern China that endangered the financial standing of the bank in the world market.

2. The four embezzlers fledthree of whom found their way through Hong Kong and Canada into the United States, where they attempted to launder the stolen money in Las Vegas through major gambling casinos.

Here is where international law enforcement goes to work.

By December 2002, three of the four embezzlers were indicted in the District of Nevada for violating Title 18 codes relating to visa fraud. Yu Zhen Dong, one of the embezzlers, was arrested in Los Angeles two days later. Then some $3.5 million of the embezzled funds were located and seized by the FBI in San Francisco; these funds were formally forfeited and returned to the Chinese government.

This year Yu pled guilty in Nevada District Court. Before sentencing, China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs contacted U.S. authorities and requested that Yu be returned to China to serve his sentence. With the written terms of Yu's care and handling in China approved, Yu's sentencing proceeded: this month he was sentenced to serve 12 years of confinement and three years of supervised released. And on April 16, an FBI agent and two immigration agents escorted Yu to Beijing and turned him over to officers of China's Ministry of Public Security.

And please be sure that the long arm of the law is relentlessly searching for the other two indicted embezzlers. If you have any information on the whereabouts of Xu Chao Fan (aka Hui Yat Fai) or Xu Guo Jun (aka Hui Kit Shun), please contact FBI Las Vegas.