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Chinese Woman Sentenced in Mar-a-Lago Trespass

Judge orders Yujing Zhang deported
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 25, 2019 6:37 PM CST
In an April court sketch, Yujing Zhang, left, sits in court in Florida during a hearing.   (Daniel Pontet via AP, File)

(Newser) – A federal judge on Monday sentenced a Chinese businesswoman to eight months in prison for trespassing at President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club and lying to Secret Service agents. U.S. District Judge Roy Altman also ordered that Yujing Zhang, 33, be turned over to immigration officials for deportation upon her release, the AP reports. Because she received nearly eight months' credit for being jailed since her arrest March 30, she has about a week more to serve. Sentencing guidelines called for zero to six months, but the law allowed for up to six years. Altman said "the evidence was overwhelming" that Zhang lied to Secret Service agents to get into Mar-a-Lago and when they confronted her. "She lied time and time again," Altman said.

Zhang told Altman she went to Mar-a-Lago "to meet the president and family and just make friends." When an incredulous Altman questioned whether she thought she could really meet the Trumps, Zhang laughed loudly and said she hoped to meet other people, too. Zhang then said the president told reporters that he had invited Zhang. That never happened. A prosecutor cited Zhang's falsehoods in arguing for an 18-month sentence, saying Zhang "lied to everybody" to get into Mar-a-Lago, even her taxi driver. He also pointed to the electronics found on her and in her hotel. "That certainly does not suggest she is some misguided tourist. She had an agenda," the prosecutor said. He did not specify what Zhang's agenda was but said her actions "suggest it was not just to take a photo with a famous person." Zhang has 14 days to appeal, per CNN. (Mar-a-Lago produced another conviction in September.)


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