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Chinese Woman at Trump's Mar-a-Lago Club Indicted, FBI Probing Spy Angle

Prosecutors filed the indictment against Yujing Zhang, 32, in federal court in South Florida on Friday.

Associated Press

Updated:April 13, 2019, 10:37 AM IST
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Chinese Woman at Trump's Mar-a-Lago Club Indicted, FBI Probing Spy Angle
Picture for Representative Purposes. (Getty Images)

West Palm Beach: A Chinese woman recently arrested at President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago club has been charged with unlawful entry of restricted buildings and making false statements.

Prosecutors filed the indictment against Yujing Zhang, 32, in federal court in South Florida on Friday.

Zhang faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a USD 250,000 fine if convicted of the false statements count. If convicted of unlawful entry, she faces a maximum sentence of a year in prison and a USD 1,000 fine.

Zhang was arrested March 30 after Secret Service agents said she lied to gain admission to the president's Palm Beach, Florida,resort.

She was carrying two Chinese passports, four cellphones, a laptop computer, an external hard drive and a thumb drive containing malware.In her hotel room, agents found a device to detect hidden cameras and USD 8,000 in cash.

Earlier this week, at a bond hearing in federal court, Assistant US Attorney Rolando Garcia told a federal magistrate judge that "there are a lot of questions that remain" about Zhang and that the FBI was still investigating whether she is a spy. The bond hearing is scheduled to continue Monday.

A Secret Service agent told the judge that when an agency analyst uploaded the malware found on Zhang's thumb drive, it immediately began installing on the analyst's computer and corrupting its files.

Zhang's public defender suggested at the hearing that Zhang may not have been lying, but misunderstanding agents' questions since she wasn't fluent in English.

But the Secret Service agent told the judge that Zhang spoke and read English well during subsequent questioning with agents.

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