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Onetime Espionage Suspect Is Arrested

After being cleared in China spy case, she's accused in an alleged marriage scam.

November 18, 2005|H.G. Reza | Times Staff Writer

A woman cleared this week of multiple charges of conspiring to steal U.S. military secrets for China has been arrested again by FBI agents, this time for allegedly engaging in a marriage fraud scheme.

Fuk Heung Li of Alhambra was named in a criminal complaint filed Tuesday, the same day she was cleared of the previous accusations. According to an FBI affidavit, Fuk admitted she was involved with a company that paid U.S. citizens thousands of dollars to travel to China and enter into fraudulent marriages with people wanting to immigrate to America.

A search of Fuk's trash and home revealed numerous documents in Chinese and English that investigators said were blank marriage contracts. One partially filled contract calls for payment of $25,000 by the immigrant, authorities said.

Fuk's husband, Tai Wang Mak, 56, was indicted Tuesday on a charge of failing to register as an agent of a foreign government. Tai Mak's brother, Chi Mak, 65, was also named in the indictment along with his wife, Rebecca Laiwah Chiu, 62.

The Maks and Chiu face up to 10 years in prison if convicted. They and Fuk, 48, had been accused of theft of government property, conspiracy, transporting stolen goods and aiding and abetting when federal agents arrested them Oct. 28, but those charges were dropped after prosecutors determined the information they had wasn't classified.

Chi Mak, a Downey resident, is the lead project engineer on a contract to develop a quiet electric-drive propulsion system for U.S. Navy submarines at Paragon Power in Anaheim. Authorities said he transferred sensitive information about the propulsion system to his home computer. According to an FBI affidavit, Tai Mak and Fuk allegedly planned to carry a CD encrypted with that information to China.

The FBI affidavit unsealed Thursday suggests that federal agents began conducting surveillance of Fuk and the others in April 2004.

A U.S. attorney spokesman said Fuk was free on $50,000 bond.

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