Visa Scheme Cheated 7 Chinese Nationals Out of $1.5 Million, L.A. County DA’s Office Says

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Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey at a press conference at the Hall of Justice in Los Angeles on June 29, 2015. (Credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey at a press conference at the Hall of Justice in Los Angeles on June 29, 2015. (Credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

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Los Angeles County prosecutors say two people bilked seven Chinese nationals out of $1.5 million in an immigration fraud scheme.

The district attorney’s office said Monday the victims were promised visas in return for investments in one of five restaurants owned by one of the defendants.

Prosecutors say the defendants are not attorneys or registered immigration consultants.

Thirty-four-year-old Nianfei Bu of West Covina faces 12 counts of grand theft by fraud involving the Chinese nationals. Thirty-seven-year-old Hourong Zhang of Rowland Heights is charged with eight counts of grand theft by fraud.

Bu is also charged with four counts of grand theft for allegedly not paying wages to employees hired to help contact potential investors.

The defendants could not be immediately reached for comment because they remained jailed pending arraignment.

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