Sherry Xue Li, 50 and Lianbo “Mike” Wang, 45, are both residents of Centre View Drive, Oyster Bay, Long Island, Nassau County, New York, United States. They were born in China and are naturalized U.S. citizens.
Li and Wang accused of acting as straw donors for foreign nationals to illegally contribute to U.S. political campaigns. In 2017, they charged 12 people from China and Singapore $93,000 each to attend a fundraiser for 45th U.S. president Donald Trump, 76.
Li and Wang submitted an illegal contribution of $600,000 at the event, which was organized by Trump Victory, a fundraising committee established with the Republican National Committee. Li took a photograph with Trump and Melanie Trump, 52, which Li and Wang later used to defraud investors.
Moreover, Li and Wang are accused of orchestrating a nearly decade-long scheme to defraud investors in a fictitious project to develop, build and operate a private educational institution in Sullivan County, New York called the Thompson Education Center (TEC) Project. The two allegedly claimed that they were raising money to build homes and Chinese Disneyland, a China-themed amusement park in New York that would attract 1.5 million visitors a year.
As part of the scheme, Li and Wang allegedly solicited foreign nationals located outside of the U.S. by sending them promotional materials that included photographs of Li with prominent U.S. politicians. Victims were told that a $500,000 investment would guarantee them lawful permanent residence in the U.S. through the EB-5 investment visa program.
As of March 2022, Li, Wang and their co-conspirators have misappropriated and laundered at least $2 million in TEC Project investor funds. As of July 2022, more than 150 investors have invested at least $27 million in the TEC Project.
On July 18, 2022, Li and Wang were arrested in Oyster Bay. They were charged with wire fraud conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy and conspiracy to defraud the U.S. by obstructing the Federal Election Commission’s (FEC) administration of campaign finance laws.