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Ex-wife of former Chinese official arrested for visa fraud

March 18, 2015

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The ex-wife of a fugitive former Chinese official has been arrested in Washington state on allegations of immigration fraud and money laundering.

Shilan Zhao, of Washington state, was arrested Tuesday and ordered held without bail. Her attorney, Kirk Davis, says he can’t comment but looks forward to “challenges as they come.”

Federal prosecutors contend Zhao and Jianjun Qiao falsely claimed to be married and lied about their source of money to obtain U.S. visas through an immigrant investor program.

Their documents were processed in Laguna Niguel, California.

An indictment unsealed Tuesday in Los Angeles charges them with conspiracy and other crimes. It claims the divorced couple bought a home in the Seattle suburb of Newcastle using $500,000 from fraudulent transactions at a grain storehouse in Zhoukou City, China, where Qiao was a director.

He remains a fugitive.

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