IRS – Woman Found Guilty in Conspiracy to Sell Baldwin Park Property Subject to Civil Forfeiture

Los Angeles – LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – Yesterday, in United States District Court in Los Angeles, a woman was found guilty on all counts contained in a federal grand jury indictment returned earlier this year alleging that she was a member of a conspiracy to sell real property that was subject to civil forfeiture by the government.

Previously, a federal grand jury indicted Xi Chaidez, of Los Angeles, and Mei Zhang, for their involvement in the conspiracy to sell a piece of real property located at 3320 Big Dalton Avenue, Baldwin Park, California, that had been previously restrained by the United States and was the subject of civil forfeiture proceedings in federal court.

According to the indictment, after the restraint of the Big Dalton property by the government, Xi Chaidez, formerly known as Xi Zhang and also known as Sunny Zhang, along with her co-conspirator Mei Zhang, transferred title to the property to a third party without any permission or consent by the court. The real property was the subject of a civil forfeiture action filed by the United States government and was subject to the jurisdiction of the court. Chaidez and Zhang, in attempting to place the property outside reach of the United States government for purposes of forfeiture, impaired the court’s jurisdiction over the real property by transferring the title to a third-party and by liquidating the equity they had in the property for their own benefit.

In a Verified Complaint for Forfeiture detailing the investigation leading to the restraint of the Big Dalton property, Shi Dong Zhang was alleged to have fabricated and sold to customer’s false “Chinese Notarial Certificates” from his business called Mainland China Notary, located in South El Monte, California. The certificates sold by Shi Dong Zhang purported to be official documents from the government of the People’s Republic of China. Shi Dong Zhang’s customers used these documents to apply for immigration benefits with the United States government. The complaint details that the money Shi Dong Zhang earned was traced to the purchase, refinancing, and to the mortgage payments made in connection with the Big Dalton property. Accordingly, the property was deemed forfeitable as property which constituted or was derived from proceeds traceable to several criminal violations, including fraud and related activity in connection with identification documents and information, bank fraud, and money laundering.

Chaidez faces a statutory maximum of 10 years imprisonment when sentenced. US District Judge Steven V. Wilson ordered Chiadez to appear for sentencing on January 14, 2008.

The investigation of Chaidez and Zhang was conducted by agents with Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

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