A 49-year-old Minnesota man was found guilty Jan. 26 of stealing more than $1.7 million in an affinity scheme targeting Hmong elders in Fresno and Minneapolis, U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger announced.
Seng Xiong, of Maplewood, Minn., conducted a fraud scheme through his organization “Hmong Tebchaws” in which he convinced Hmong elders to deposit $3,000 to $5,000 in a bank account with his name to secure a place and benefits in a southeast Asian country that would be established as a Hmong homeland.
Victims were promised 10 acres of land, a house, and other benefits such as free healthcare, free education, and government financial assistance for people over 65 years of age. Those who could not afford the top amounts could pay $20 per month, or $240 per year, for a spot in the country and some benefits.
Xiong claimed to be working with the White House and United Nations to establish the new Hmong country.
A sentencing date has not been set. The U.S. attorney’s office is looking for more victims. If you or someone you know could be a victim, email the Minnesota Financial Crimes Task Force at firstname.lastname@example.org.