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Chinese citizen indicted for anti-democratic harassment

PRESS RELEASE

People’s Republic of China Citizen Indicted for Allegedly Stalking, Threatening Individual Promoting Democracy in China

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

For Immediate Release

U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Massachusetts

BOSTON – A Berklee College of Music student, who is citizen of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Boston in connection with allegedly stalking and threatening an individual who posted fliers in support of democracy in China around the Berklee campus area.

Xiaolei Wu, 25, was indicted today on one count of cyberstalking and one count of interstate transmissions of threatening communication. Wu was previously arrested and charged by criminal complaint with one count of stalking on Dec. 13, 2022. At the time of the events alleged in the Indictment, Wu was living in Boston while attending the Berklee College of Music. 

According to the charging documents, on Oct. 22, 2022, an individual posted a flier on or near the Berklee College of Music campus in Boston which said, “Stand with Chinese People,” as well as, “We Want Freedom,” and “We Want Democracy.” It is alleged that, beginning on or about Oct. 22, 2022, and continuing until Oct. 24, 2022, Wu made a series of communications via WeChat, email and Instagram directed towards the victim who posted the flier. Among other things, Wu allegedly said, “Post more, I will chop your bastard hands off.” He also allegedly told the victim that he had informed the public security agency in China about the victim’s actions and that the public security agency in China would “greet” the victim’s family. It is further alleged that Wu solicited others to find out where the victim was living and publicly posted the victim’s email address in the hopes that others would abuse the victim online. 

The charge of cyberstalking provides for a sentence up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. The charge of interstate transmissions of threatening communication provides for a sentence up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.

United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins and Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy H. Kistner of Rollins’ National Security Unit is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Counterintelligence and Export Control Section Trial Attorney Menno Goedman.

The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Updated January 12, 2023

U.S. Department of Justice Press Release

Link:

DOJ Press Release

Categories: China-related “sanctions” Department of Justice (DOJ) Updates Enforcement Actions Indictments and Arrests

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