Home » The United States accused 2 people of allegedly assisting China to persecute Falun Gong | Deutsche Welle from Germany introduces Germany | DW

The United States accused 2 people of allegedly assisting China to persecute Falun Gong | Deutsche Welle from Germany introduces Germany | DW

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(Deutsche Welle Chinese Website) The U.S. Department of Justice stated on Friday (May 26) that two Chinese-born Los Angeles residents were charged with using bribes to advance the Chinese government’s crackdown on Falun Gong.

The two indicted are 70-year-old U.S. citizen Chen Jun (transliteration, English name John Chen) and 43-year-old U.S. permanent resident Feng Lin (transliteration), both born in China. They are charged with acting in the United States as unregistered agents of a foreign government, bribing public officials and conspiring to commit international money laundering.

According to a press release issued by the U.S. Department of Justice, Chen Jun and Feng Lin are suspected of cooperating in a Chinese government-led scheme to target Falun Gong members in the United States in an attempt to strip them of tax-exempt status from an entity operating in the United States. The department said the plan was part of a broader crackdown by the Chinese government against dissidents in the United States.

The U.S. Department of Justice announced the indictment a month after the pair were arrested by federal agents. Chen and Feng are suspected of running China’s “secret police station” in Manhattan’s Chinatown. The department has filed suit against the pair in federal court for the Southern District of New York. Reuters could not immediately reach the parties and their lawyers. The Chinese embassy in Washington had no immediate comment on the matter.

Two Chinese-born Los Angeles residents have been accused of using bribes to advance the Chinese government’s crackdown on Falun Gong. (profile picture)

Cash bribes to “take down Falun Gong”

In a press release, the U.S. Department of Justice wrote that Chen Jun and Feng Lin attempted to bribe an undercover U.S. tax official in 2023 to a federal agent who had become a U.S. tax official in order to use the IRS’ “Whistleblower Program” to advance the deprivation of tax exemptions for Falun Gong entities status action.

Federal prosecutors allege that Chen Jun and Feng Lin filed a complaint with the U.S. tax agency in February in an effort to crack down on Falun Gong, describing Falun Gong as a “massive super cult.” The pair then approached an undercover agent claiming to be a taxman to ensure the report was dealt with by the tax office.

On May 14, Chen and Feng met the undercover agent in Newburgh, New York. Chen Jun gave the agent $1,000 in cash as a down payment for bribes, and promised to pay a total of $50,000 to start the audit of the reported project. In addition, if the report is successful, they will also distribute 60% of the IRS whistleblower bonus to the agent. On May 18, 2023, Feng Lin paid the agent another $4,000 in bribes at Kennedy International Airport to advance the plan.

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The Justice Department wrote in a news release that Chen Jun made it clear in a recorded phone call that the bribes were paid to carry out the Chinese government’s goal of “bringing down…Falungong,” and that the bribes were paid by the Chinese government Guided and funded. According to a wiretap intercepted by the Justice Department, Chen Jun and Feng Lin talked about receiving instructions from “Chinese official-1” to delete instructions from the official to prevent their deeds from being revealed. The two also spoke of the official as a Chinese government official in charge of a bribery scheme targeting Falun Gong.

“China disregards the rule of law and international norms”

China banned the Falun Gong movement in 1999, labeling it a cult and one of the “five poisons,” the greatest threat to its rule. Since then, Falun Gong practitioners have established the “Longquan Temple”, a 400-acre sanctuary in upstate New York.

The Justice Department has pursued a series of indictments in recent years to obstruct China’s search, targeting and suppression of pro-democracy activists and other dissidents in the United States.

U.S. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland said in a statement that the Chinese government has once again tried and failed to target dissidents in the United States, and that the U.S. will “continue to investigate, undermine, and prosecute” China’s efforts to “silence critics and expand its regime.” to U.S. soil” efforts.

FBI Director Christopher A. Wray said: “The Chinese government has once again demonstrated its disregard for the rule of law and international norms. The FBI will not tolerate the CCP’s repression in the United States, that is, threats to the people, harassment ransom and intimidation. We will continue to confront the Chinese government’s efforts to violate our laws and suppress the rights and freedoms of our people.”

According to a U.S. Department of Justice press release, Chen Jun and Feng Lin were each charged with one count of failing to notify the Department of Justice of serving as a foreign government agent and bribing a public official, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison; one count of failing to notify the Department of Justice of serving as a foreign government agent one count of bribing a public official, which carries a maximum penalty of fifteen years; and one count of conspiracy to commit international money laundering, which carries a maximum penalty of twenty years.

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(Reuters, Associated Press)

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