Bay Area Hotels included in FBI investigation into accused Chinese spy

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MercuryNews Nov2019

In September, Hayward resident Xuehua “Edward” Peng, 56, was arrested and charged with a federal violation of ferrying classified information to Chinese officials using so-called dead drops… Now, federal prosecutors have revealed Peng was implicated in a real estate scheme in which his sister purchased nearly $20 million worth of Bay Area properties with money wired from China.

In partially-redacted search warrant returns filed last week, the FBI named Peng as a “silent partner” in the fraudulent real estate venture allegedly run by his sister. Acting as a “straw buyer,” the sister … used money that originated in China to pay for four properties between 2013 and 2015, authorities said, ending up with ownership interests ranging from 30 to 100 percent.

The cash fueling the venture flowed from various Chinese individuals to U.S. accounts in amounts just under $50,000, seemingly to evade Chinese currency controls, authorities said.

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MercuryNews Sep2019