According to the Department of Justice in the Southern District of Florida, a Chinese businessman who is charged in a federal grand jury indictment with entering the United States using fraudulently-obtained visas will remain behind bars pending trial in Miami.
Jianxiang Shi was arrested this week at a convention in Las Vegas, Nevada where he was promoting a cryptocurrency venture. He made his first federal court appearance yesterday before a magistrate judge in Las Vegas. During the appearance, the federal magistrate judge ordered Shi detained pending his trial in Miami, finding that Shi presents a risk of flight if released. Future court proceedings will occur in the Southern District of Florida, the Department of Justice said.
According to the superseding indictment unsealed yesterday, Shi lied in order to obtain two non-immigrant visas, which he then used to enter the United States, at Miami International Airport, in 2016. Shi represented in both applications that he had never used another name when, in fact, he had an alternate identity and travel documents under the name “Long Niu,” it is alleged.
Shi used travel documents with the “Long Niu” identity to enter the United States in February 2017, and has been living in California and Nevada as “Morgan Shi” since leaving China, prosecutors alleged during the court hearing.
The superseding indictment charges Shi with two counts of fraud and misuse of United States nonimmigrant visas. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
The announcement was made by Juan Antonio Gonzalez, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Jessica Moore, Chief of the Criminal Investigations Division of the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS).
Shi Jianxiang was the chairman of the board of Kuailu (Fast Deer) Group in China. Kuailu was involved in investments in the Internet finance and film industries. Shi was put on the wanted list by the Chinese government for an alleged fundraising fraud.
Shi Jianxiang fled the country on March 7, 2016, according to an announcement issued by the Communist Party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection in 2018. At the request of the Chinese government, Interpol added Shi Jianxiang to its Red Notices in January 2017.
According to STCN, Shi Jianxiang was involved in illegal fundraising of more than 40 billion yuan, resulting in 40,000 investors suffering losses. In the film and television industry, the “Ip Man 3” box office fraudulence, which involved Shi and Fast Deer Group, caused significant public uproar.