Chinese National Pleads Guilty for Failing to Report a Foreign Bank Account

Charlotte, NC–Lili Bian, a 59-year old citizen of China, and a lawful permanent resident of the United States living in Charlotte, appeared in federal court today and pleaded guilty to failing to report a foreign bank account with a balance exceeding $10,000, announced Andrew Murray, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.

According to court documents and today’s court proceedings, Bian admitted that on or about June 30, 2015, she knowingly and willfully failed to file with the Department of the Treasury a Foreign Bank and Financial Account Form TD F 90-22.1 (FBAR), as is required by all citizens or residents in the United States who had a financial interest in, or signature or other authority over a financial account in a foreign country with an aggregate value of more than $10,000.

The FBAR requires the filer to identify the financial institution with which the account is held, the type of account, the account number, and the maximum value of the account during the calendar year of which the FBAR is filed.  Bian admitted in court today that, during calendar year 2014, she failed to report that she had an interest in, or signature authority over, a financial account at FungChen Securities, a financial institution located in China, with an aggregate value of more than $10,000.

Bian’s son, Shi Yun Zhou, was sentenced in January 2019 to nine years in prison on drug trafficking conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy charges.  Pursuant to her plea agreement, Bian has agreed to forfeit over $3 million in U.S. currency, funds, and other assets, including multiple residences and luxury vehicles, many of which are titled in both Bian and Zhou’s names, and were previously identified for forfeiture in the Zhou case.

The charge of willful failure to file an FBAR carries a maximum prison term of five years and a $250,000 fine.


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