The China-based daughter of a man, who entered a guilty plea over an indictment for lying to a federal officer in connection with the preparation of a document needed to process a U.S. passport, has begged for leniency at next week’s sentencing hearing.
Attorney Steven Pixley, counsel for defendant Guo Hua Lu, submitted the daughter’s letter yesterday before the U.S. District Court for the NMI. Lu’s sentencing will be next Thursday, April 20, at 1:30pm.
The daughter said her father, Lu, has told her that he is extremely embarrassed about his behavior and would not have acted that way.
“My father has suffered a lot from leaving his homeland alone for nearly 20 years,” the daughter said, adding that he went to Saipan when she was a child.
She said she and her mother need Lu to be a part of their lives.
The daughter said Lu has been a hard worker and a wonderful, protective father.
Seven years ago, the daughter arrived on Saipan, where she studied at the Northern Marianas College.
She said at the beginning, her English was poor and that she was worried that people would laugh at her if they could not understand her.
She said Lu helped her in adapting to her new environment by speaking with her in English every day, and that he also encouraged her to speak English with his friends and their neighbors.
The daughter said her English improved a lot, that she got perfect GPA (4.00/4.00) at NMC and earned the chance to transfer to Baruch College in New York.
“After I transferred to Baruch College, my father worked harder to afford the high expenditures in New York. I would not get my Bachelor’s Degree without my father,” she said.
Last December, Lu pleaded guilty to the indictment charging him with false statement to a federal officer, an offense that carries a maximum penalty of not more than five years of imprisonment and a fine not to exceed $250,000.
According to the factual basis of the plea agreement, on Oct. 6, 2016 in the District of the NMI, Lu knowingly made a statement or representation to special agent Vincent Carpenter of the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service.
Specifically, Lu told special agent Carpenter that he never supplied, made, or coordinated a single Chinese certificate that was submitted to the U.S. Passport Office on Saipan “for processing of Ms. Shi’s son.”
Lu also told Carpenter that “I never provided her single certificate, also I have not knowledge that single certificate is true or not. I did help her to get that.”
Lu’s statements and representations were not true as in fact, he had arranged for the preparation of the single notarial certificate and its subsequent delivery to Saipan from China, in exchange for payment of $750.
Lu requested that Miss Shi, on whose behalf Lu prepared a U.S. passport application in the name of her (Shi) infant son, send him (Lu) her official Chinese identification card number, U.S. visa, and a passport-sized photo, so that he could arrange for the preparation of the notarial certificate.
The notarial certificate was sent via DHL from Jin Fa Zhou in Fuqing, China, to Lu on Saipan. Lu delivered the DHL envelope containing the notarial certificate and a completed U.S. passport application for Miss Shi’s son to Shi at the U.S. Passport Office on Saipan.
Shi signed the passport application and submitted it to the U.S. Passport Office on Saipan.
Subsequent review of the notarial certificate by fraud prevention manager Elizabeth Holcombe of the U.S. Consulate in Shanghai, China, established that the notarial certificate was fraudulent.
Holcombe contacted the notary in China from which the notarial certificate was purportedly issued. The numbers on the notarial certificate and supporting documents did not exist in the notary’s records. The name of the notary who purportedly issued the notarial certificate is not a notary of that office. Shi’s name did not appear in the notary’s records as ever having applied for any notary service.
Lu obtained or arranged another notarial certificate of single status for a prior client, Rui Lui in 2015 was also fraudulent.