12 Jan 2018
- By Bryan Manabat – [email protected] – Variety News Staff
HONGWEI Ma, one of the five individuals indicted in May 2017 for unlawful employment of aliens and bringing in and harboring certain aliens, was sentenced to six months probation according to federal court documents unsealed on Thursday afternoon.
The documents stated that Ma, an employee of Marianas Enterprise Limited who worked in the local office of Beilida CNMI Overseas, cooperated with the U.S. government in the prosecution of her co-defendants.
According to the minutes of the change-of-plea and sentencing hearing on Oct. 6, 2017, attorney Van De Veld, who represented Ma, expressed concern for the safety his client because of her cooperation with the U.S. government.
Assistant U.S. Attorney James Benedetto stated that for Ma’s protection, it was the U.S. government’s intention that none of the parties received notice of the hearing as they were investigating some of the other defendants and their family members who might be engaged in disruptive conduct.
Ma was previously released on her own recognizance pending trial.
She pled guilty to one count of illegal employment of unauthorized aliens.
Beilida CNMI Overseas was a subcontractor of MCC, the former contractor of the Saipan casino investor, Imperial Pacific.
Separate criminal complaints were filed against the sole owner of Beilida Overseas (CNMI), Lu Hui, for unlawful employment of aliens and for bringing in and harboring certain aliens.
Ma’s other co-defendants are Guo Wencai and Xiufang Qi.
Also indicted for harboring aliens was MCC international project manager Yuqing Zhao.
Guo Wencai has pled guilty to two counts of harboring aliens and will be sentenced on Feb. 16, 2018 at 9a.m.
Qi pled guilty to harboring aliens, and will be sentenced on March 2, 2018 at 9 a.m.
Zhao pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge of unlawful employment of aliens and was sentenced to six months in prison.
Lu has yet to be arrested.
Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/101448-defendant-in-unlawful-employment-of-aliens-case-gets-6-months-probation