Concerns of Political Infiltration Arise After Chinese Mogul Pleads Guilty to Making Illegal Donations


Qin Hui, a Chinese tycoon with a complicated background in Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officialdom, pleaded guilty in March to making illegal donations to a New York City official, a member of the U.S. House, and a congressional candidate.

Court documents filed on March 18 by the Brooklyn U.S. Attorney did not identify the candidates Mr. Qin supported. But the citywide New York campaign that year included the election of Mayor Eric Adams.

According to a press release by the United States Attorney’s Office Eastern District of New York, since 2021, Mr. Qin has been recruiting and reimbursing people who make political contributions on his behalf. He made donations totaling $11,600 to political campaign organizations in New York City and Rhode Island.

This type of contribution, referred to as a “straw donation” or “ghost donation,” is used to evade legal restrictions on donations or conceal the source of the funds.

Given political donations are an effective way to get close to Western politicians, Mr. Qin’s donations are suspected of infiltration and manipulation of American politics.

Mr. Qin has a complicated business history in China, including running the notorious nightclub in Beijing and being involved in bribery cases. He also owned the Hong Kong-based entertainment entity SMI Corporation, which, however, delisted in 2020 due to hundreds of millions in debt defaults.

In 2018, Forbes magazine ranked Mr. Qin as the 1,339th wealthiest person on the list, with a fortune of $1.8 billion.

Emma Liu, the ex-wife of Mr. Qin, has been appointed to Mr. Adams’s Advisory Council on Asian Affairs.

Probes Into CCP Infiltration

On Feb. 29, Mr. Adams’s Asian Affairs Director Zheng Qirong (Winnie Greco) was raided by the FBI, who searched her office and at least two of her homes in the Bronx, New York.

The search was conducted in cooperation with the Brooklyn U.S. Attorney’s Office, which has previously focused on cases involving CCP activities in the United States, the NY Post reported.

FBI agents also searched the New World Mall in Flushing. The mall has organized several fundraisers in the 2021 mayoral race.

Ms. Zheng is a member of Mr. Adams’s close advisers. During his tenure as Brooklyn Borough President, Ms. Zheng was reportedly appointed as an honorary ambassador to the Chinese community.

In 2014, a nonprofit organization founded by Ms. Zheng paid Mr. Adams about $7,000 for his trip to China, the NY Post reported. In 2017, Ms. Zheng took Mr. Adams to China and met with some CCP officials.

On Feb. 28, the day before the FBI searched Ms. Zheng, the New York Post published an article with a photo attached about Mr. Adams sitting with the Consul General of CCP at a pro-communist group event. The picture shows him wearing a red scarf, which symbolizes the blood flag of the Chinese Communist Party.

Mr. Adams is in his third year as mayor of New York. Last September, investigators stopped him on the street, asked his bodyguards to step aside, and confiscated his electronic devices on the spot.

The federal probe is based on concerns over whether Mr. Adams’s campaign had received illegal contributions abroad, The New York Times reported.

The Epoch Times reached out to the New York Mayor’s office for comments, but the office didn’t respond for comment.

Exemptions From CCP’s Anti-Graft Campaign

A billionaire with a complex web of communist political connections, Mr. Qin has been linked to heavyweight CCP officials thanks to his first wife, Lin Jing, a descendant of the party patriarch. Lin Jing, who died of cancer in 1995, was the daughter of the brother of former Chinese President Li Xiannian’s second wife.

In 1996, Mr. Qin took over Passion Club, also known as Tianshang Renjian, or “paradise,” catering to the power elite in Beijing. Through this, he amassed numerous contacts with influential figures in Zhongnanhai—CCP’s powerful center in Beijing, public security and the military.

In March 2005, Zhang Enzhao, the former president of China Construction Bank, was expelled from the party and the post. According to court documents posted by the Hong Kong version of Sina, between 2002 and 2005, Mr. Zhang accepted Mr. Qin’s bribes six times totaling $60,000, HK$200,000 (about $25,000), and 100,000 yuan ($13,000). In exchange, Mr. Zhang allegedly offered Mr. Qin 600 million yuan ($83 million) of loans and other collateral-lifting benefits. In 2006, Zhang was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

In the bribing case of Li Peiying, the former chairman of Capital Airport in Beijing, Mr. Qin allegedly gave Li over 18 million yuan ($2.5 million) in bribes, which accounted for 70 percent of the total amount of Li’s bribes acceptant amount. In 2009, Li was executed, Sina reported.

Although the Public Security Bureau took Mr. Qin away to investigate the case and was indeed deeply involved in it, he was eventually acquitted.

Mr. Qin was charged with political donation fraud, immigration fraud, and identity fraud. He faced a maximum sentence of 27 years in prison, but due to his acceptance of the relevant punishment conditions, his sentence may be reduced to six months.

Mr. Qin has agreed to relinquish his status as a lawful permanent resident of the United States and will be deported to a foreign country as part of the plea agreement.

Views expressed in this article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.


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