Chinese woman at Mar-a-Lago indicted on 2 charges

Yujing Zhang faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted of the false statements count. (Source: Google Maps / MGN Online)

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A Chinese woman recently arrested at President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago club was charged Friday with unlawful entry of restricted buildings and making false statements.

Prosecutors filed the indictment against Yujing Zhang, 32, in federal court in South Florida.

Zhang faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted of the false statements count. If convicted of unlawful entry, she faces a maximum sentence of a year in prison and a $1,000 fine.

Zhang was arrested March 30 after Secret Service agents said she lied to gain admission to the president's Palm Beach, Florida, resort. She was carrying two Chinese passports, four cellphones, a laptop computer, an external hard drive and a thumb drive containing malware. In her hotel room, agents found a device to detect hidden cameras and $8,000 in cash.

Earlier this week, at a bond hearing in federal court, Assistant U.S. Attorney Rolando Garcia told a federal magistrate judge that "there are a lot of questions that remain" about Zhang and that the FBI was still investigating whether she is a spy. The bond hearing is scheduled to continue Monday.

A Secret Service agent told the judge that when an agency analyst uploaded the malware found on Zhang's thumb drive, it immediately began installing on the analyst's computer and corrupting its files.
Zhang's public defender suggested at the hearing that Zhang may not have been lying, but misunderstanding agents' questions since she wasn't fluent in English.

But the Secret Service agent told the judge that Zhang spoke and read English well during subsequent questioning with agents.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.



 
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