US Army reaches out to LA’s Chinese after scam

File photo: A military naturalization ceremony held at a U.S. Army base in South Korea, December 2008
File photo: A military naturalization ceremony held at a U.S. Army base in South Korea, December 2008 U.S. Army Korea-IMCOM/Flickr (Creative Commons-licensed)

U.S. Army officials say they want to ensure that Chinese immigrants don't fall for the kind of scam that got its alleged leader arrested last week.

Prosecutors claim that a Chinese national posed as a military recruiter and duped fellow immigrants into thinking they'd joined a U.S. Army Special Forces unit. Yupeng Deng allegedly charged each recruit at least $400 plus annual renewal fees.

Deng reportedly promised about 100 men that membership in the armed forces would lead to legal American citizenship. Authorities arrested Deng last week; if a jury convicts him, he faces up to eight years in prison.

In South El Monte, U.S. Army officials held a news conference in English and Chinese. They let people know how they can sign up with real recruiters and steer clear of this type of deception.

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