Exclusive: U.S. breaks up Chinese currency manipulation ring

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. federal prosecutors have broken up an international currency manipulation ring that they say helped launder billions of dollars for Chinese companies, marking the first time such a group has been dismantled outside Hong Kong..

The ring, which operated out of New York and Los Angeles, allegedly helped Chinese companies manipulate the value of the yuan currency to gain an unfair advantage in global trade. The companies involved are accused of underreporting the value of their exports to China and overreporting the value of their imports, which allowed them to avoid paying billions of dollars in tariffs and duties..

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said the crackdown was part of a broader effort to combat economic crime and protect the integrity of the U.S. financial system..

“We will not tolerate individuals who seek to manipulate our financial system for their own personal gain,” Garland said in a statement. “We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to investigate and prosecute those who engage in this type of criminal activity.”.

The investigation, which was led by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), resulted in the arrests of several individuals and the seizure of assets worth millions of dollars..

According to a criminal complaint unsealed in federal court in Manhattan on Thursday, the ring operated from at least 2010 to 2022 and laundered billions of dollars through U.S. banks..

The complaint alleges that the ring used a variety of methods to manipulate the value of the yuan, including buying and selling large amounts of currency, creating fake invoices, and using shell companies to hide their transactions..

The ring also allegedly used offshore accounts to launder the proceeds of their criminal activity..

The individuals charged in the complaint include:.

* Jun Gao, a Chinese national living in Los Angeles, who is accused of being the leader of the ring..

* Jiayi Sun, a Chinese national living in New York, who is accused of being a key member of the ring..

* Lianbo Liu, a Chinese national living in New York, who is accused of laundering money for the ring..

The defendants are charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, money laundering, and other financial crimes. They face up to 20 years in prison if convicted..

The crackdown on the currency manipulation ring is the latest in a series of actions by the Biden administration to combat economic crime. In recent months, the administration has announced a number of initiatives to crack down on money laundering, fraud, and other financial crimes..

The administration has also increased funding for law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute these crimes..

The crackdown on the currency manipulation ring is a significant step in the fight against economic crime. The ring’s activities not only harmed the U.S. financial system, but also gave Chinese companies an unfair advantage in global trade..

The arrests of the individuals involved in the ring and the seizure of their assets send a clear message that the U.S. will not tolerate this type of criminal activity..

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