Dual Chinese/U.S. citizen sentenced in money laundering scheme
POSTED: Saturday, April 5, 2014 - 8:01am
UPDATED: Saturday, April 5, 2014 - 8:09am
CORPUS CHRISTI, TX — Kin Fu Chow, 47, of Chicago, Ill., has been ordered to prison for his involvement in a money laundering conspiracy involving alien smuggling activity, announced United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Chow pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering on Jan. 2, 2014.
Senior U.S. District Judge Hayden Head handed Chow a sentence of 15 months in federal prison to be immediately followed by three years of supervised release.
Chow was a leader in a large money laundering conspiracy operating in the Southern District of Texas. The money laundering was accomplished through other illegal activity including alien smuggling and drug trafficking.
Chow purchased a 1975 Cessna 310R aircraft to enable the criminal organization to smuggle illegal money, aliens and drugs. He was responsible for the smuggling of Chinese nationals into the United States via Mexico. Chow’s co-conspirators were arrested in 2010 and the aircraft was seized as part of their prosecution. At the time of their arrest, Chow then fled to China. He returned to the U.S. on an aircraft that landed in Seattle, Wash., in October 2013, at which time he was immediately arrested.
Chow will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
This case is a result of the efforts of a multi-agency Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force investigation dubbed “Operation Sky’s the Limit.” The investigation was led by Homeland Security Investigations, Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration and the Corpus Christi Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Julie K. Hampton is prosecuting.