Elk Grove realtor indicted on federal charges in international money laundering scheme tied to marijuana grow houses

December 21, 2018 |  

An Elk Grove resident and realtor is in custody at the Sacramento County Jail ineligible for release after being charged in U.S. District Court in Sacramento on international money laundering charges related to residential marijuana growing operations.

Heidi Ky Phong, 36, was one of three suspects arrested after a federal grand jury indictment was unsealed yesterday.  The indictment brought by the grand jury on December 13 charged Phong, Zhen Shang Lin, 37, of Riverside, Li Juan Wang, 37, of Riverside, and Feng Li, 48, of Sacramento, with conspiracy to commit international money laundering, international money laundering, conspiracy to manufacture marijuana, and manufacturing marijuana. 

This is the third indictment stemming from the Operation Lights Out operation that has already resulted in federal forfeiture actions against over 100 homes in the Sacramento area, including several in Elk Grove, earlier this year.

According to the indictment, which is posted below, through her entities, including Elk Grove-based HP Real Estate and Skye Investment LLC in Sacramento, Phong and her other alleged co-conspirators arranged for money to be electronically transferred from China and was used to purchase residential dwellings for the purpose of illegally growing marijuana. Phong also allegedly participated in three separate marijuana manufacturing conspiracies, two with individuals charged earlier in 2018 and one with Zhen Shang Lin and Li Juan Wang.  

If convicted, the accused could face prison terms up to 40 years and fines up the $5 million. Arraignment is scheduled for today at the U.S. District Court in Sacramento. 

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D.J. Blutarsky said...

It looks like all the money used to purchase the homes was wired from ICBC bank, based out of Shanghai. Good luck getting them to reveal the source of the funds! Makes me wonder to what extent the Elk Grove housing market is being propped up by Chinese money? That's why I can't get too excited when I read the police blotters about two or three illiterate Hmongs getting busted working the grow houses. There are bigger fish swimming in that pond!

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