BROOKLYN - The Justice Department told a federal judge in Brooklyn on Tuesday that it was opposed to a motion by Sherry Li to be released from detention under a proposed bail package of a $500,000 personal recognizance bond with her father acting as a potential suretor.
That package was rejected by Magistrate Judge Ramon E. Reyes, Jr. on July 29, as reported exclusively by The SullivanTimes. Reyes said that Li posed a "serious risk of flight."
Li, who for nearly a decade made herself known in Sullivan County as a "developer" of then proposed Thompson Education Center (previously China City of America), was arrested on July 18 along with business partner Lianbo Wang at their Oyster Bay, LI home.
Defendant Sherry Li , who is
expected back in federal court
on October 28.
Li's proposed China City of America/TEC project - first introduced in 2013 - was rejected by the Town of Mamakating and Town of Thompson Planning Boards.
But the Town of Fallsburg's Zoning Board of Appeals - in 2017 and under the past administration - , issued a building permit for construction of a 9,328 residence to be built by Li on Renner Road that opponents argued was going to be illegally used for commercial purposes.
Photos that Li took of the foundation of that building were allegedly used in Li's marketing materials to make foreign investors believe that the project was literally getting off the ground as part of the scam.
Li and Wang, who later became known as two of the biggest financial supporters of former President Donald Trump's "Victory Committee" are accused of perpetuating a "massive, multi-layered" fraud scheme targeting foreign nationals ranging from a sham real estate investment, (TEC) promised benefits for payment, the solicitation for access to U.S. politicians, to making illegal donations for campaigns," according to the federal officials.
They each face three charges: wire fraud conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy and conspiracy to defraud the United States by obstructing the Federal Election Commission’s (FEC) administration of campaign finance laws. Conviction on all three charges alone could result in prison terms of 45 years, prosecutors say.
The criminal complaint against the pair was unsealed the same day that the Department of Justice announce their arrests in a detailed press release.
Meanwhile, Magistrate Judge Reyes on Tuesday set a motion hearing for October 28 "to determine whether defendant knowingly and voluntarily waived her preliminary hearing at her initial appearance. "
The order from Reyes said that the court "expects to entertain testimony from defendant's former counsel Nora K. Hirozawa and from defendant Sherry Xue Li on that issue. Should the Court determine that defendant Sherry Xue Li did not knowingly and voluntarily waive her preliminary hearing it will immediately conduct that preliminary hearing. "
The SullivanTimes has thus far been unsuccessful in attempts to reach Li's new attorney, Ning Ye, whose office is in Flushing.