The Fake Army

It was a profitable but outrageous scheme, set forth in a trial going on now. Prosecutors are charging that David Deng recruited Chinese immigrants to join the "U.S. Army/Military Special Forces Reserve" to help their chances of obtaining U.S. citizenship, and that he charged hundred of dollars from his "soldiers." The U.S. military has no such unit. The group is well known in Asian-American neighborhoods of Los Angeles, where community leaders had no idea they weren't government issue.
Last year, one Chinese-language newspaper reported that an Alhambra taxi driver was arrested near Los Angeles International Airport after producing counterfeit military identification while trying to get out of a traffic stop.

Investigators learned that the recruits were told that the military IDs could be used to avoid getting traffic tickets and to receive certain types of military benefits and discounts, Eimiller said.

Some of the recruits were so convinced that they were part of the U.S. military that they actually visited real Army recruiting centers and tried to pay their monthly dues directly to the U.S. government, Eimiller said. That was another tipoff when investigators began looking into the group.

Local Chinese American leaders on Wednesday said they were shocked that a group that was such a familiar presence in the community is now being accused of being a fraud.

If convicted of all charges, Daniel Deng could face 11 years in prison. Link -via Metafilter

(Image credit: FBI)

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