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Chinese national charged in US Army recruiting scam


April 13, 2011 - Pomona

A Chinese national has been arrested and charged for his role in a U.S. Army recruiting scam in which he convinced nearly 100 people to join a military recruiting center, calling it a path to American citizenship.

Yupeng Deng, also known as David Deng, gave himself the title of "Supreme Commander" of an unauthorized military unit, which he called the U.S. Army/Military Special Forces Reserve unit.

According to the Fox News, the 51-year-old man allegedly recruited other Chinese nationals, primarily in the San Gabriel Valley, to join.

He is accused of providing recruits with phony U.S. Army uniforms, fake documents and military ID cards and charging them initiation fees ranging from 300 dollars to 450 dollars, with renewal fees set at 120 dollars a year.

The recruits were instructed to report to Deng's office in Temple City, which was decorated to look like an official military recruiting center, to undergo military training and indoctrination, said the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.

Deng was charged with 13 counts of theft by false pretenses, manufacturing deceptive government documents and counterfeit of an official government seal, prosecutors said. He will face more than eight years in state prison if convicted.

FBI agents and U.S. Department of Defense officials arrested Deng. He was being held on 500,000 dollars bail and was scheduled to be arraigned on Wednesday.

Federal investigators began looking into Deng more than two years ago when they received reports from police who recovered counterfeit military IDs from some of Deng's recruits during traffic stops, said FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller.

When Deng sent his recruits renewal forms for their bogus military IDs, some showed up at Army facilities to pay them, said Eimiller.

Deng also has been charged with one count of possession of child pornography stemming from a search warrant executed at his home. Authorities investigating the Army fraud case said they found child pornography on his home computer.

ANI

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