'Supreme Commander' of Phony Army Recruitment Offce Arrested
As part of an immigration scam, a 51-year-old man from El Monte set up a phony Army recruitment office and charged Chinese nationals to become part of what he claimed was the U.S. Armed Forces, reports the Pasadena Star News. Recruits were asked to come to David Deng's office, decorated to look like a military recruitment office, in Temple City for training, according to CNN. They were charged initiation fees that ranged from $300 to $450, as well as annual renewal fees of $120. For a higher fee, they could achieve higher rank, and all were allegedly told that they were on the path to U.S. citizenship.
Participants were also given Army uniforms, and at one point even marched in a Monterey Park parade.
Deng was arrested today by the FBI and the U.S. Department of Defense, and faces "13 counts of theft by false pretenses, manufacturing deceptive government documents and counterfeit of an official government seal," notes CNN.
As leader of the group, Deng referred to himself as the "supreme commander."