FBI Evidence Links John Liu to Chinese Front Groups
NEW YORK—Evidence submitted for the trial of John Liu’s campaign aides shows Liu’s interest in Xing Wu (Oliver) Pan’s role in the Fukien American Association—a group with ties to both organized crime and the Chinese regime.
Pan was a fundraiser and Jia (Jenny) Hou was the treasurer for Liu’s 2013 mayoral campaign. Both are being charged for trying to defraud New York City by recruiting straw donors to get illegal public matching funds for Liu’s campaign. Hou is facing additional charges for lying to the FBI and withholding evidence.
On July 27, 2011, Pan met with an undercover agent, John Chiue, who was posing as a Chinese businessman by the name of Richard Kong.
Chiue said he was interested in starting a business in New York City, and told Pan he wanted to get a politician from City Hall in his pocket so he could make calls down the road and clear up any red tape. John Liu was elected comptroller in 2009.
During the meeting, Pan told Chiue about a phone call he had with Liu. “Usually my first question will be ‘John, how much money you need?’” said Pan, in a transcript of a video Chiue took with a hidden camera.
Liu said he would need 4 million or 5 million dollars, according to Pan.
Pan told the undercover agent that Liu asked him, “Can you talk to Fukien Benevolent Association, bring fifty people donating eight hundred. Fifty people from the Fujianese Association donating eight hundred.”
Pan said it may not be possible unless they came up with a strategy, before saying, “John, actually quite easy, people donate, we give something in return.”
Although Pan was only described as a businessman during the trial, he is also the executive vice chairman of the Fukien American Association, as well as the United Fujianese American Association.
The Fukien American Association had raised $70,000 for John Liu’s comptroller campaign by July 2, 2008, according to Chinese state-run newspaper World Journal.
The Fukien American Association is affiliated with the Fuk Ching gang, known for its involvement in human trafficking, extortion, and protection rackets, according to a report “Chinese Transnational Organized Crime: The Fuk Ching” by James O. Finckenauer, Ph.D., at the National Institute for Justice, which is a branch of the U.S. Department of Justice.