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LASD - Los Angeles County Sheriffs Dept Information Bureau (SIB)
Tuesday April 12th, 2011 :: 05:38 p.m. PDT


El Monte Man Charged with Creating Phony Army Unit

Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office

A Chinese national has been arrested on charges he started a phony Army special forces unit and recruited more than 100 Chinese nationals into the unit by providing them with false documents and uniforms for a fee, the District Attorney’s office announced.

Yupeng Deng, aka David Deng, was arrested this morning by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies on a felony complaint for arrest warrant filed Monday by the District Attorney’s office, said Deputy District Attorney Richard Ceballos. The 51-year-old El Monte resident is scheduled to be arraigned on Wednesday at Pomona Superior Court, Department N. He is being held on $500,000 bail.

Deng allegedly gave himself the title of "Supreme Commander" of an unauthorized military unit, the U.S. Army/Military Special Forces Reserve unit ("MSFR"). Deng allegedly created the phony unit in October 2008 and recruited other Chinese nationals, telling them that belonging to the bogus unit was a path to U.S. citizenship.

He allegedly charged each recruit initiation fees ranging from $300 to $450 with renewal fees set at $120 each year. Recruits allegedly could increase their rank in the "MSFR" by making cash donations to the defendant, Ceballos said.

Deng allegedly provided each recruit with phony U.S. Army uniforms, fake documents and fraudulent military ID cards.

The recruits were also instructed to report to the defendant's office in Temple City, decorated to look like an official U.S. military recruiting center, to undergo military training and indoctrination. These recruits even marched in a parade in Monterey Park and took a tour of the USS Midway museum in San Diego all while dressed in uniform.

Special Agents with the FBI and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service jointly investigated the case and presented it to the D.A.’s office.

Deng is charged in case No. KA093862 with 13 counts of theft by false pretenses, manufacturing deceptive government documents and counterfeit of an official government seal.

If convicted as charged, he faces up to eight years, four months in state prison.

In a separate case, Deng was charged on April 6 with one count of possession of child pornography stemming from a search warrant executed at his home. Authorities investigating the document case allegedly discovered child pornography on his home computer.

He is scheduled to be arraigned in that case -- KA093837 – on April 18 in Pomona Superior Court, Department N. If convicted in that case, he faces up to three years state prison.

Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office

Contacts: Joe Scott, Director of Communications
Sandi Gibbons, Public Information Officer
Jane Robison, News Secretary
Shiara Dávila, Assistant PIO
(213) 974-3525

Forwarded by:
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Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department
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