Birth tourism defendant gets 1 year in prison


An overstaying Chinese tourist who pleaded guilty to running an business that offered trip packages to pregnant Chinese women seeking to give birth on Saipan was sentenced Friday in federal court to 12 months and one day in prison.

Sen Sun was given credit for time already served in prison and was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine and $100 in court assessment fee.

After his prison term, Sun will be deported.

U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona dropped the remaining two charges—unlawfully employing aliens and money laundering—as part of the plea deal.

Benjamin Petersburg served as counsel for Sun.

Last Dec. 8, Sun, also known as Sam Sun, signed a plea deal with the U.S. government and pleaded guilty to harboring illegal aliens.

The offense carries a maximum penalty of not more than five years of imprisonment, a fine of not more than $250,000, not more than a five-year term of probation, and a $1,000 special assessment.

Assistant U.S. attorney Eric O’Malley stated that between Jan. 1, 2017, and Nov. 3, 2017, Sun ran an unregistered, and therefore illegal, business operation arranging travel, medical, and other services to pregnant foreign citizens seeking to give birth in the NMI.

Citing the basis of the case, O’Malley said each of Sun’s clients paid upward of $15,000 for this service that included a full-time assistant or nanny, namely the 15 alien workers, who would, among other things, cook, clean, and provide basic care for his clients.

O’Malley said Sun employed the 15 workers knowing they were aliens who were not authorized to work in the U.S.

O’Malley said the workers lived with Sun’s clients in apartments and other accommodations paid for by defendant via his illegal business operation.

The prosecutor said despite his knowledge that the workers had entered or remaining unlawfully in the U.S., Sun harbored them and concealed them from detection by providing them with accommodations, employing them, and advising them to avoid contact with immigration and other law enforcement authorities.

Sun agreed with O’Malley’s statements, but clarified that he got only a portion of the $15,000 each from the clients as the amount paid for many services.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at

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