Fugitive now in China sentenced in 'birth tourism' scheme

Fugitive now in China sentenced in 'birth tourism' scheme

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) – A fugitive who pleaded guilty to a visa fraud scheme in which Chinese women gave birth in California so their children would be U.S. citizens has been formally sentenced.

Chao “Edwin” Chen, who is now in China, was sentenced Tuesday to more than three years by a federal judge, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

Prosecutors say Chen, 35, was among more than a dozen people charged with operating a company that helped wealthy Chinese citizens and even government officials come to the United States so their children would receive birthright citizenship.

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The indictment said they used 20 apartments in Irvine to house pregnant clients, who were charged up to $80,000 each.

Clients were coached on how to lie on visa applications, hide their pregnancies during customs checks and pass U.S. consulate interviews in China, prosecutors said.

Chen’s company, You Win USA, promoted the benefits of giving birth in the United States rather than

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