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home : community : community Sunday, August 20, 2017

2/14/2017 1:26:00 PM Email this articlePrint this article 
Seng Xiong Found Guilty

By Amy Doeun

The trial of Seng Xiong is over. In a trial that rocked the Hmong Community and lasted over two weeks, it took the jury just two hours to find Xiong guilty.

Xiong is convicted of, "conducting a fraud scheme through his organization 'Hmong Tebchaws'," read a statement from the United States Attorney's office. The statement added that, "Hmong elders were directed to deposit $3,000 to $5,000 into a bank account held in the name of Seng Xiong. In exchange for the payments, victims were promised 10 acres of land, a house and many other benefits in a future country that would be established somewhere in Southeast Asia." Xiong also claimed to be working with the White House and United Nations and that the land had already been set aside in Southeast Asia.

Sergeant Michael Ernester, Public Information Officer for the St. Paul Police Department, reached out to the Hmong Times saying that he knows there are still a lot of people in the Hmong Community that don't believe that this case is real. However, the case and resulting trial is a result of an investigation by not only the St. Paul Police Department, but also the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Secret Service, the Minnesota Financial Crimes Task Force and the Appleton Police Department.

There is a petition on Change.org submitted by Pao Doua Xiong. The petition is to the U.S. District Court and reads in part, "Our history shows us that we don't always see eye to eye, have never shared the same vision, and rarely come together for a greater cause. The people that accused Seng Xiong are merely pawns of a greater entity that stands against democracy, against equality, and against the existence of a homeland for the Hmong. They do not want us to have homeland because it will make us great. The more scattered we are, the weaker we are. The more influenced we are from all parts of the world, the more we will lose our ingenuity, our history, and most importantly... our identity." There are 17 signatures on the petition. 100 were needed to have the petition delivered. Many of the signatures were added months ago. The petition was never delivered. However there still remains support for Xiong.

Assistant United States Attorney Amber Brennan said of the trial, "Seng Xiong took the Hmong people's tragic history of war and displacement and manipulated that for his own benefit. We hope today's verdict sends a message that the United States will protect those who have been defrauded. We'd especially like to thank the dedicated officers of the St. Paul Police Department who serve the largest population of Hmong immigrants in the United States."

Xiong in convicted of one count of wire fraud and one count of mail fraud. A sentencing date has not been set. The United States Attorney's office asks, "If you or someone you know could be a victim, please contact the Minnesota Financial Crimes Task Force by sending an email to mspectf@usss.dhs.gov."




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