Federal Criminal Defense for Chinese Nationals
Since the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) launched its China Initiative in 2018, Chinese nationals have faced heavy scrutiny for alleged criminal acts both in the U.S. and abroad. If you are a Chinese national and you are under federal investigation, you need to engage defense counsel promptly.
Chinese nationals are facing heavy scrutiny from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and other federal agencies. In particular, the DOJ and FBI are targeting individuals who are suspected of engaging in malign foreign influence, economic espionage, hacking, and other computer and financial crimes targeting U.S. companies and consumers.
In 2018, the DOJ launched its China Initiative, which is comprised of senior DOJ and FBI officials and a team of federal prosecutors. The China Initiative has three identified priorities:
- Chinese trade theft;
- Chinese investment in U.S. infrastructure and telecommunications; and,
- Chinese covert influence of U.S. political officials and the general public.
Within each of these three areas, the DOJ is targeting numerous different types of offenses; and, while these are the China Initiative’s priorities, we have seen many cases targeting Chinese nationals for other alleged federal crimes as well.
Federal Criminal Defense Lawyers for Chinese Nationals in the U.S. and Abroad
Oberheiden P.C. is a federal criminal defense law firm that represents Chinese nationals living in the U.S. and abroad. Our attorneys assist individuals and corporate clients facing all types of white-collar charges, and we handle cases at all stages, from investigation through appeal. Several of our attorneys are former prosecutors with the DOJ and the U.S. Attorney’s Office; and, in addition to our attorneys, we have multiple defense consultants who are former investigative agents with the DOJ, FBI, and other agencies.
Our attorneys and defense consultants are intimately familiar with the DOJ’s China Initiative. As former prosecutors, our attorneys have handled countless white-collar investigations and prosecutions on behalf of the federal government; and, as defense counsel, we have helped numerous clients avoid federal criminal charges. Our defense consultants have centuries of combined federal investigative experience, and they offer unique insights for defending against allegations of espionage, hacking, covert influence, and other federal crimes.
Cases We Handle on Behalf of Chinese Nationals in the United States
We represent Chinese nationals who are facing allegations of all types of federal criminal offenses in the United States. If you have been contacted by the DOJ, FBI, or any other federal agency in any capacity, we encourage you to contact us at 888-680-1745 for a free and confidential case assessment.
Our attorneys are available to assist Chinese nationals who have received all types of inquiries from the federal government and whose cases are at all stages of the federal prosecutorial process. You should contact us immediately if:
- You have received a civil investigative demand (CID)
- You have received a target letter
- You have received a search warrant or subpoena
- You have been served with a criminal complaint
- Federal agents have raided your home or office
- You have been taken into federal custody
At Oberheiden P.C., our federal criminal defense practice encompasses all types of white-collar crimes. This includes specifically the offenses that are being targeted in the DOJ’s China Initiative. Allegations of financial crimes and computer-related crimes can lead to multiple charges for multiple offenses, and avoiding an indictment and conviction requires the ability to identify all potential charges and all of the defenses to these charges that are available. For example, our attorneys routinely defend clients against charges such as:
The U.S. government is on high alert for Chinese nationals conducting economic espionage targeting domestic companies, particularly those in the biomedical, technology, infrastructure, and government contracting sectors.
Intellectual Property (IP) Theft
While intellectual property (IP) theft can lead to civil litigation in the United States, it also constitutes a federal crime. As a result, IP theft allegations can lead to prosecution by the DOJ and long-term incarceration in federal prison.
Hacking, IP theft, various forms of fraud, and other cybercrimes have become top federal law enforcement priorities in recent years, particularly under the China Initiative. Chinese nationals accused of cybercrimes face steep penalties for a broad array of offenses, particularly in cases involving threats to national security.
Malign Foreign Influence
Malign foreign influence, or influencing the U.S. democratic, political, and electoral systems, is another top priority at the DOJ and FBI. This includes, but is by no means limited to, attempts to bribe political candidates and federal officials. The DOJ and FBI are monitoring activity by Chinese nationals in the U.S. and abroad in particular, and prosecutions are resulting in severe penalties.
Acting as an Agent of a Foreign Government
In many cases involving economic espionage, cybercrimes, and malign foreign influence, the DOJ is also pursuing charges for acting as an agent of a foreign government. Under the Chinese Initiative, the DOJ is particularly focused on preventing Chinese nationals from operating on behalf of the Chinese government on U.S. soil, and all suspected cases of foreign intrusion are being handled at the highest levels of the DOJ.
Making False and Fraudulent Statements to the Federal Government
Another focus of the federal government’s effort to target Chinese nationals has been on cases involving fraudulent attempts to participate in federal programs and initiatives, including federal grants. Chinese nationals who fail to disclose foreign financial conflicts and other foreign ties when applying for these programs and initiatives can potentially face years or decades of federal imprisonment.
Aggravated Identity Theft
Aggravated identity theft is a fairly common charge in federal cases targeting Chinese and other foreign nationals for cybercrimes, financial crimes, making false and fraudulent statements to the government, and other similar types of offenses. This charge is typically appended to other charges for multiple related offenses.
In addition to economic espionage and IP theft, federal authorities are also actively monitoring the United States’ airports and seaports for attempts to smuggle proprietary assets out of the U.S. and into China. Recent smuggling cases have involved assets ranging from biomedical research material to military equipment.
Mail Fraud and Wire Fraud
Mail fraud and wire fraud are crimes that are general in nature, and this allows the DOJ to pursue charges in a broad range of scenarios. In many cases, federal prosecutors will be able to bring mail fraud or wire fraud charges even if they do not have the evidence required to prove a specific substantive offense.
Cases targeting financial crimes will often entail charges for money laundering. Similar to mail fraud and wire fraud, the DOJ can pursue money laundering charges under a broad range of circumstances, and penalties include, “fine[s] of not more than $500,000 or twice the value of the property involved in the transaction, whichever is greater, [and] imprisonment for not more than twenty years.”
Many federal prosecutions targeting Chinese nationals also include allegations of tax fraud. The Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigations division (IRS-CI) works closely with the DOJ and FBI in these cases, and we have a former senior IRS-CI agent available to assist clients facing federal tax fraud allegations.
Conspiracy and Attempt
The federal conspiracy and attempt statutes are among the most-potent tools in the DOJ’s law enforcement playbook. These statutes allow for the prosecution of cases in which no substantive crime has been committed, and prison sentences can range from five years to the full prison sentence imposed for the attempted federal offense.
Are You at Risk for Being Extradited to the United States for Federal Criminal Prosecution?
If you are facing a U.S. investigation, criminal complaint, or indictment and you are currently living in China or elsewhere abroad, the federal government may attempt to use the extradition process to have you brought onto U.S. soil for trial. Our attorneys are experienced in fighting extradition to the U.S., and we can help you fight to remain in your current country of residence while also disputing the allegations against you.
Extradition to the U.S. for criminal prosecution is a multi-stage process, and there are defenses that can be asserted at every stage. However, in order to ensure that you have the greatest opportunity possible to avoid being extradited, it is imperative that you engage experienced federal criminal defense counsel right away.
If the DOJ, FBI, or any other U.S. federal agency is targeting you for federal criminal prosecution, you do not have time to waste. You also cannot afford to take chances. You need experienced federal criminal defense counsel on your side, and you need to start building your defense strategy immediately. To speak with a senior attorney at Oberheiden P.C. about our representation of Chinese nationals in federal criminal cases, contact us today.
Discuss Your Case with a Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer at Oberheiden P.C.
Are you at risk for being charged with a federal crime in the United States? If so, do not let unnecessary mistakes or delays jeopardize your defense. To schedule your free and confidential case assessment with a federal criminal defense attorney at Oberheiden P.C., call 888-680-1745 or tell us how we can reach you online now.