A resident of a Los Angeles suburb was recently arrested on charges of creating a phantom army unit to extort money from Chinese nationals.
Deng charged each of the over 100 Chinese citizens $300 to $450 fee to join the fake unit that he called the U.S. Army MSFR (Military Special Forces Reserve unit).
His recruits had to part with more cash if they wanted to be placed at a higher military rank than everyone else. The recruits were made to believe that joining the military was a fast track to US citizenship.
So elaborate was Deng’s scheme that it included uniforms for the recruits, falsified documents, fake military ID cards, a forged government seal, regular parades in an LA suburb and visits to the USS Midway carrier in San Diego (the USS Midway was decommissioned a while back and now serves as a museum).
Unsurprisingly, recruits were instructed to refer to Deng as "supreme commander."
If found guilty of the charges, the 51 year old Deng faces up to 8 years jail time.
The District Attorney’s Office declined to reveal how Deng was smoked out, saying only that the evidence and all details will be discussed during the preliminary hearing.