Skip to comments.Would-Be Victim Outsmarts Suspects in Weird Asian Ghost Scam, Four Charged
Posted on 11/18/2012 8:04:57 PM PST by nickcarraway
The District Attorney was pretty stoked to announce he's charged additional suspects connected to that bizarre ghost scam that's plagued San Francisco's Asian community since early this year.
"Our public awareness campaign is working," said District Attorney George Gascón. "Thanks to the media, potential victims are becoming aware of the scam and extra vigilant."
The DA charged four suspects involvement in another jewelry scam after one of the victim's outsmarted them.
See also: Police Warn Residents of Weird Chinese Ghost Scams
Ying Liu Tam, 38, and Ah Chung Liu, 48, are charged with four felony counts including grand theft, extortion, attempted extortion and attempted grand theft. Mudi Wu, 44, is being charged with two felony counts of attempted extortion and attempted grand theft. Yong Hua Zeng, 53, was charged with two felony counts of extortion and grand theft.
The M.O. was the same as the last Chinese ghost scam from earlier this summer, where the suspects duped dozens of elderly Asian women to hand over their cash and valuables. In total, the suspects made off with more than $1 million, according to police. In September, three more women were arrested on suspicion of stealing victim's money after telling them there were evil spirits attached to them. One victim alone lost $35,000.
Since then, the cops and the DA have been hosting community meetings to educate residents about this crafty scam. But on Nov. 10, the scammers struck again, targeting elderly Chinese women at the Alemany Farmer's Market.
The first victim was approached by three of the defendants who told her that she was plagued by "evil spirits" and that a family member was in danger. They told her that she could save this family member, but she had to get her money and valuables and bring those things back for a blessing.
Frightened by the thought of evil spirits, the victim headed home to get her valuables.
While in route to her house, the victim recalled having just heard a warning on the news about this kind of scam. So instead of going home, the victim went to Ingleside Police Station and reported the scam.
The cops responded to the market, where the victim identified the suspects. Police noted a male suspect, Defendant Zeng, with another woman later identified as a second victim. Upon seeing police, all four suspects began running toward a cab and jumped in. Police stopped the cab and found property and money belonging to the second victim, who had just delivered her money to the suspects after they told her about the evil spirits in her family.
The defendants appeared in court yesterday where they pleaded not guilty. Bail was set at $200,000 for Ying Liu and Ah Chung Liu, and $100,000 for Mudi Wu and Yong Hua Zeng.
The defendants are due back in court this morning.
Hu ya gonna car?
I wonder if that would work on the average Obama voter? Naw, they don’t have anything worth the effort!
“I would have gotten away with it, too, if it hadn’t been for you meddling kids!”
I told this story to a Vietnamese guy I have been working with for years and he said, "yes, its true. You must be careful of the ghosts that live in tne trees". He was completely serious.
Would you buy a house near tree ghosts?
they told the women a story... the women handed over their money... and this is a crime?
EXACTLY HOW is this any different from all the 'reasons' i'm supposed to pay massive taxes to the fedgov?
seriously... i'd like to know
Its not government sponsored
You must be careful of the ghosts that live in tne trees”. ....I know. The little barsteds empty my bird feeder all the time.
I had one of these guys get rid of my evil spirits. But then an hour later I had to have them do it again.
For $1 Million I can reverse time to 5 Nov 12 and ensure Mitt gets elected President. Call 555 2151 to arrange shipment of the unmarked bills.
north dakota would be a great place for them