Man pleads guilty to license fraud


A man has pleaded guilty to his involvement in the unlawful production of a CNMI driver’s license in 2019.

Xiaoqin Wu pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona last week to one count of conspiracy to unlawfully produce an identification document.

Manglona said in her order that after reviewing the plea agreement, she found that Wu was fully competent to enter a knowing, voluntary, and intelligent plea. The judge then ordered Wu to return to court on April 22, 2022 at 1:30 pm for his scheduled sentencing.

Wu, who, appeared out of custody, was represented by court-appointed attorney Robert T. Torres, while Hua “Mike” Yang served as his interpreter. Assistant U.S. Attorney Garth Backe appeared for the federal government during the proceedings.

During the hearing, Torres waived his client’s right to an indictment, which the court accepted.

Currently, Wu remains out of prison with conditions, after submitting an unsecured appearance bond.

According to the factual basis of the plea agreement, on or about Feb. 15, 2019, Wu conspired with an individual known as “Zhang” to “knowingly and without lawful authority produce…a fraudulent CNMI driver’s license, and the prohibited production, transfer, possession, or use was in or affected interstate or foreign commerce,” it stated.

The plea agreement states that Wu did not have lawful U.S. immigration status so he paid Zhang $300 to help him obtain a fraudulent CNMI driver’s license.

“The defendant knew that it was illegal to obtain a driver’s license without legal immigration status. In furtherance of their plan, defendant gave Zhang $300 and sent Zhang a photo image of his 2017 CNMI driver’s license via WeChat. Sometime later, Zhang gave defendant the fraudulent CNMI driver’s license that (Zhang) had unlawfully produced,” the document said.

Kimberly Bautista Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Bautista Esmores has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at
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