Men indicted for coaching Chinese to fake Christian persecution
Two San Gabriel men were indicted Friday on federal immigration fraud charges for allegedly helping hundreds of Chinese nationals file bogus U.S. asylum applications claiming they were persecuted for their Christian beliefs, authorities said.
Haoren Ma, 47, owner of New Arrival Immigration Service on Valley Boulevard, and his employee, Minghan Dong, 55, charged up to $6,500 per person to coach asylum seekers on providing identical, and identically false, accounts of Chinese authorities breaking up underground church meetings, and arresting and torturing phantom worshipers, authorities allege.
The men also provided written materials and audiotapes tutoring immigrants in Christian precepts, officials said. Among the learning aids was a DVD labeled "Jesus 1."
Dong and Ma each face up to 85 years in federal prison and a $2.5-million fine, prosecutors said.
-- Gale Holland