MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A man was arrested in California Thursday, accused of scamming Hmong elders in Minnesota by taking thousands of dollars with false promises of a future Hmong homeland in southeast Asia, the U.S. Attorney’s Office says.
Seng Xiong, 48, is charged with wire fraud for operating an affinity fraud scheme.READ MORE: Zoomies, Grins And Head Tilts: Why Do Our Dogs Do What They Do?
The investigation began last September when the Appleton Police Department in Wisconsin received a tip that elderly Hmong men and women were depositing $3,000 to $5,000 into a bank account held in Seng Xiong’s name. Prosecutors say the victims were told the money was payment for 10 acres of land, a house and many other benefits in a future country that would be established as a Hmong homeland.READ MORE: Bahjo Mohamed, Pioneering Light Rail Operator, Dies In Somalia Suicide Bombing
Law enforcement officers later learned the donations were operating through the organizations “International Fund for Hmong Development” and “Hmong Tebchaw,” which also operated a website.
Prosecutors say the Hmong Tebchaw website claimed the group was working with the White House and the United Nations to secure land for the deal, and that China, Japan, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam has all agreed to acknowledge the Hmong people.MORE NEWS: State Officials Believe There's Enough Supply For Timely Vaccinations Of 12 To 15 Year Olds In Wake Of FDA Approval
Police are asking anyone who knows anything about the crimes to send an email to the Minnesota Financial Crimes Task Force.