Two New York residents were arrested Monday on a federal criminal complaint with a nearly decade-long $27 million investment fraud scheme that leveraged their attendance at a 2017 fundraiser with then-President Donald Trump.
Prosecutors said that the two defendants, Sherry Xue Li and Lianbo Wang, lured victims into investing in a fictitious project to build a private educational institution in Sullivan County, New York, by claiming it had the support of prominent politicians.
The two Long Island residents also promised their investors green cards, access to politicians and investment returns for their support of the so-called Thompson Education Center, according to prosecutors.
Li and Wang charged 12 foreign nationals $93,000 per person for admission to a June 2017 Trump fundraiser, and they used that money to “unlawfully” make $600,000 in political contributions to the committee that hosted the event, according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, New York.
“Li, Wang and their foreign national guests attended the June 28, 2017 Fundraiser and took photographs with the then-President of the United States,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.
“Li and Wang later used a photograph of Li and the President taken at the fundraiser to solicit investment in the TEC Project.”
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