Posted on Leave a comment

Massachusetts man indicted for acting as an illegal agent of the Chinese government.

image thumb441

On May 9, authorities arrested Litang Liang, a 63-year-old resident of Brighton, Massachusetts, for allegedly serving as an agent of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen of the Justice Department’s National Security Division, said,

“We will not tolerate the PRC’s efforts to interfere with public discourse and threaten civic participation in the United States. This case demonstrates, once again, the lengths that the PRC government, including its Ministry of Public Security, will go to target people in the U.S. who exercise their rights to speak out against the PRC.”

U.S. Attorney Rachael S. Rollins for the District of Massachusetts, added,

“The Department of Justice will protect these individual rights and protect our country against those who seek to unlawfully act on behalf of foreign governments while within our borders. We allege that Mr. Liang engaged in a series of acts on behalf of the PRC government including providing information on Boston-area residents, organizations and dissidents to PRC government officials – potentially placing people at risk here in Massachusetts and abroad. Attempts to repress constitutionally protected rights here in the United States will never be tolerated. Anyone who infringes upon those rights on American soil will be identified and held to account.”

Liang has been accused of working as a PRC government agent in the U.S. since around 2018 and continuing until at least 2022. According to charging documents, he allegedly shared information about people and organizations in the Boston area with PRC officials, arranged a counter-protest against pro-democracy dissidents, provided dissidents’ photos and information to PRC officials, and shared the names of potential recruits with the PRC’s Ministry of Public Security.

Starting around 2018, Liang is suspected of sharing details about Chinese individuals and groups living in Boston with PRC officials. The recipients of this information included former PRC officials in the United States, the Ministry of Public Security, and the United Front Work Department. This department is directly accountable to the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and works to advance the CCP’s objectives.

There are allegations that Liang shared sensitive information with Chinese government officials. This information includes details about members and leaders of Chinese family associations and community organizations in the Boston area who support Taiwan. It is also claimed that Liang provided information about individuals who were critical of the Chinese government. This includes identifying someone who allegedly damaged Chinese flags in Boston’s Chinatown in October 2018. Liang is also accused of sharing video footage of a dissident who participated in the “Boston Stands with Hong Kong” march in August 2019, as well as photographs of anti-People’s Republic of China demonstrators outside the Boston Public Library in September of that same year.

If someone acts as an agent of a foreign government without informing the U.S. Attorney General, they could face severe consequences. This includes up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000. Similarly, if someone conspires to act as an agent of a foreign government without informing the U.S. Attorney General, they could face up to five years in prison, three years supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000. The punishment’s severity is determined by a federal district court judge who considers the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and relevant statutes governing criminal cases.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *