A Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) officer was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on Sunday while trying to leave the country with U.S. government-funded research from the University of California, the U.S. Department of Justice said on Thursday.
Xin Wang was allegedly attempting to depart the U.S. for Tianjin, China, when he was stopped by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Upon interviewing Xin, CBP officers determined that he had lied on his original visa application and he was arrested. Xin has since been charged with visa fraud and faces up to ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine if found guilty. The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is investigating the case.
According to court documents filed Thursday and a criminal complaint unsealed on Monday, Xin entered the U.S. on March 26, 2019, with a multiple entry J1 non-immigrant visa he received in December 2018. On his visa application, Xin stated that the purpose of his visit was to conduct scientific research at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). He also claimed on the application that he had served as an Associate Professor in Medicine in the PLA from 2002-2016, which prosecutors allege was a fraudulent statement.
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