15 November – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – A federal grand jury in Los Angeles today indicted three Chinese natives on charges of acting as agents of a foreign government without prior notification to the Attorney General of the United States.
The indictment against the three defendants supersedes a criminal complaint filed on October 28 that accused them of theft of government property.
The one-count indictment charges:
* Chi Mak, 65, of Downey, a naturalized United States citizen;
* Chi Mak’s brother, Tai Wang Mak, 56, of Alhambra, who is residing in the United States as a permanent resident alien (commonly called a holder of a “Green Card”); and
* Chi Mak’s wife, Rebecca Laiwah Chiu, 62, also of Downey.
* The three defendants, along with a fourth who is not charged in the indictment, were arrested on the night of October 28 pursuant to a criminal complaint. Following their arrests, Chi Mak and his brother were ordered detained, or held without bond. Chiu was released last week after posting a $300,000 bond.
* According to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, Chi Mak was an engineer for a company named Power Paragon. Allegedly, Chi Mak transferred data relating to a sensitive government project to his home, where his wife assisted him in copying the information onto CDs. Chi Mak delivered the CDs to his brother, who encrypted the information and made arrangements to transport it to the People’s Republic of China. Tai Mak allegedly planned to travel to the PRC to deliver the information.
* The three defendants are scheduled to be arraigned on the indictment on Monday in United States District Court in Santa Ana.
* The charge of failing to register as a foreign agent carries a maximum possible penalty of 10 years in federal prison.
* An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
* This investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in conjunction with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.
* CONTACT: Assistant United States Attorney Gregory W. Staples
* (714) 338-3535
* Assistant United States Attorney Deirdre Z. Eliot
* (714) 338-3599