8 people indicted by federal grand jury for alleged involvement in money laundering ring, DA says

Eight people were indicted today by a grand jury in Boston for allegedly laundering money and passing tens of millions of dollars in drug proceeds, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts said. Additionally, the US attorney alleges that the eight people used or stole fraudulent gift cards to purchase and ship thousands of Apple products internationally.

“Without money, there is no drug trafficking. The laundering of drug profits is fundamental to drug trafficking activities. By eliminating the means by which drug suppliers clean up their illicit products, we cut the blood from their operations: the money. By doing so, we are helping to significantly limit the flow of trafficked drugs into our communities,” said US Attorney Rachael S. Rollins. “We must do all we can to make the Commonwealth safer and tackle the drugs crisis.”

The accused are as follows, according to the statement.

  • Shi Rong Zhang, 48, of Windham, New Hampshire;
  • Qiu Mei Zeng, 47, from Quincy;
  • Vincent Feng, 32, of Quincy;
  • Da Zeng, 30, from Massachusetts;
  • Wei Qing Zeng, 58, from Quincy;
  • Xian Rong Zeng, 45, from Hanover; and
  • Qiu Fang Zeng, 59, of Windham, NH

Of the eight people charged, “Chengzou Liu, 36, of Braintree, was also charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering as well as possession with intent to distribute marijuana,” the press release said.

The statement claims that Liu allegedly trafficked marijuana and laundered his drug proceeds through Qiu Mei Zeng and Shi Rong Zhang’s business, China Gourmet, a restaurant in Chinatown. According to the documents, Liu allegedly delivered large sums of cash – usually 30,000 – to China Gourmet and Qiu Mei Zeng, who then laundered the money via wire transfer.

In March 2022, investigators reportedly seized over $250,000 of suspected marijuana proceeds that were transported by Wei Qing Zeng from New York to China Gourmet in Boston. Investigators found the money in Wei Qing Zeng’s vehicle under packages of frozen meat while he was driving to Boston, the news release said.

Qiu Mei Zeng and Zhang allegedly worked with the other members of the money laundering ring to launder drug money for the Chinese renminbi – the official currency of the People’s Republic of China, the district attorney said.

“Specifically, it is alleged that the defendants would accept the drug proceeds in Boston and New York for a fee, transfer the equivalent value of the Chinese renminbi to the bank accounts of the drug traffickers, and ‘sell’ the drug proceeds. to individuals in the United States at a price. reduced exchange rate,” the statement read.

The penalty for money laundering can be up to 20 years in prison, up to three years of probation and a fine of $250,000 or double the amount of the property involved, whichever is greater, according to the press release. Transmitting money without a license can sentence someone to five years in prison, three years on probation and a fine of up to $250,000. Finally, the penalty for possession of marijuana with intent to sell is up to 20 years, with three years of supervised release and a $1 million fine.

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