Thursday, April 14, 2011

Chinese man arrested for creating a fake U.S. Army unit and convincing immigrants that joining was a path to citizenship - 14th Apr 2011

They thought they were part of an elite U.S. Special Forces unit recruited to help protect their adopted country.

The 100-strong ‘army’ recruited from California’s Chinese community were provided with military uniforms, flags and ID badges and marched in local parades.

And they were told that their service to America would help with everything from getting off traffic tickets to paving a smoother path to U.S. citizenship.

The only problem was that the mini-army was a scam.

Prosecutors revealed on Tuesday that David Deng, the ‘supreme commander’ of the ‘US Army/Military Special Forces Reserve’ was a conman preying on immigrants’ dreams of becoming citizens.

He allegedly charged members of his ‘army’ a joining fee of between $300 and $400 plus an annual $120 renewal fee.

The more they paid him, the better he said their chances were of getting a U.S. passport, according to court documents.

Most of the ‘soldiers’ who turned up at a store front in Temple City, California, that was decorated to look like an official military recruiting centre were poorly-paid Chinese restaurant workers from the Los Angeles area, but some came from as far afield as Georgia.

Some Chinese leaders said they were shocked that the unit that was often featured in local newspapers was bogus.

When they appeared in public, the recruits wore green uniforms and held up various flags. They also carried out drills using mock weapons. Read More