NEW YORK—The U.S. Attorney’s office has charged two men in New York for allegedly bribing who they believed to be an IRS agent in order to strip a Falun Gong entity of its tax-exempt status. The two are known collaborators of Chinese communist regime agents.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual practice banned in Mainland China. Since 1999, the Chinese Communist Party has been using state apparatuses to systematically persecute its practitioners in an effort to eradicate the practice. Tactics include physical torture, psychiatric abuse, financial attack, and slander. The CCP continually exports the persecution overseas via secret agents.
In the New York case, the accused are: John Chen, 70, of the People’s Republic of China; and Los Angeles, California, and Lin Feng, 43, a PRC citizen and resident of Los Angeles, California. Chen has been active in anti-Falun Gong activities and has been known to associate with high-level CCP officials involved with the persecution.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, Chen filed a defective whistleblower complaint against a Falun Gong entity with the IRS. Following this, in an attempt to advance the complaint. The two men paid $5,000 in cash bribes with the promise of more, to an undercover officer posing as an IRS agent. Neither men are registered agents of the PRC.
“This multi-agency effort on behalf of the U.S. government to apprehend CCP agents on American soil is heartening,” said Alan Adler, executive director of Friends of Falun Gong. “For over 20 years, practitioners of Falun Gong have not only been unsafe in China, but face attack even abroad, due to the CCP’s reach into foreign countries. This news sends the clear message that using the tools of American rule of law as a means of religious persecution will not be tolerated by the American government.”
The accused allegedly met the undercover agent in Newburgh, New York, on May 14, 2023. Chen allegedly gave the agent $1,000 out of $50,000, as well as 60% of any whistleblower award from the IRS if his complaint were successful. On May 18, 2023, Feng paid the same agent a $4,000 cash bribe at John F. Kennedy International Airport as an additional partial bribe payment in furtherance of the scheme.
FBI Director Christopher A. Wray said: “China’s government has once again shown its disregard for the rule of law and international norms. The FBI will not tolerate CCP repression – its efforts to threaten, harass, and intimidate people – here in the United States. We will continue to confront the Chinese government’s efforts to violate our laws and repress the rights and freedoms of people in our country.”
The two men are each charged with a total of four counts of illegal spying, bribing a public official, and international money laundering. The FBI, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, the Attorney General of the United States, and Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, made a joint announcement of the charges on May 26, 2023.