BREAKING NEWS: Jury finds Tydingco couple guilty


A federal court jury rendered today, Monday, a unanimous verdict finding couple Francisco Muna Tydingco and Lili Zhang Tydingco guilty of harboring an illegal Chinese child.

After deliberating for less than five hours today, the 12 jurors found the Tydingco couple guilty of one count of harboring an alien.

U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona set the sentencing for Nov. 4, 2016.
Manglona allowed Lili Tydingco to remain at liberty until the sentencing date.

The judge allowed the release of Francisco Tydingco subject to home detention pending the sentencing date.

The trial began last Tuesday. The jurors started deliberating on Friday and resumed their deliberations today at 8am.
Assistant U.S. attorney Russell H. Lorfing prosecuted the case. Attorneys Steven Pixley and Bruce Berline are counsel for Francisco Tydingco and Lili Tydingco respectively.

A federal grand jury has indicted the couple for allegedly receiving money to harbor two illegal Chinese aliens, including a child they enrolled at a public school.

The indictment charged the Tydingcos with two counts of harboring illegal alien. The prosecution, however, dismissed one count pertaining to the child’s uncle after the government completed calling its witnesses during the trial.

According to Homeland Security Investigations Task Force officer Jesse Dubrall, the child’s purported uncle stated in an interview that he paid Lili Tydingco $7,000 in exchange for helping him enter into a fake marriage and obtain a green card.

Dubrall said the parents of the child admitted that they agreed to pay Lili Tydingco between $15,000 and $20,000 to take their child to Saipan and get her a green card.

More details to follow.

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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