FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla (Information) – A Chinese language nationwide faces sentencing in a federal court docket on Monday after she was convicted of bluffing her method into U.S. President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, sparking fears she may pose an intelligence risk.
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Membership is proven forward of the arrival of Hurricane Dorian in Palm Seashore, Florida, U.S., August 31, 2019. Information/Joe Skipper
Yujing Zhang, 33, was discovered responsible of mendacity to a federal officer and trespassing by a U.S. District Courtroom 12-member jury in Fort Lauderdale after a two-day trial in September.
Zhang, who has maintained her innocence, made worldwide headlines in March when she was arrested carrying a number of digital gadgets on the Palm Seashore resort.
The query of what she was doing on the time remained unanswered as prosecutors providing no clarification in court docket for her motives.
Zhang’s actions sparked considerations that she may need been a spy. However U.S. specialists advised Information her try to enter the membership was so clumsy that whereas she has been linked to the Chinese language Communist Get together in Beijing, it was arduous to consider she was an expert spy.
In a court docket submitting this month, Assistant U.S. Lawyer Rolando Garcia requested District Courtroom Choose Roy Altman to think about an 18-month jail sentence for Zhang reasonably than the recommended six months within the sentencing tips.
Garcia wrote that a stiffer penalty was warranted due to the seriousness of the crimes, the necessity to deter related conduct, and since Zhang lied to a different federal choose about her funds.
Zhang failed to inform U.S. Justice of the Peace Choose William Matthewman that she had about $40,000 in a brokerage account and practically $eight,000 in money at her lodge room, Garcia wrote.
“Not solely did Zhang misinform the Courtroom however she additionally lied to virtually everybody she encountered in the USA,” he wrote.
On March 30, Zhang handed an preliminary Secret Service checkpoint by passing herself off as a relative of a member of the identical identify and telling membership safety personnel she was going to the pool.
However as soon as she acquired on the grounds her habits, together with the taking of lots of images, aroused suspicion.
At one level earlier than she was arrested, Zhang advised membership personnel that she was there for a nonexistent United Nations Chinese language American Affiliation occasion, federal prosecutors mentioned.
Reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Chicago; Enhancing by Daniel Wallis