Kuang Wan Fang was convicted in a U.S. court of laundering $485 million from a state-owned Chinese bank seven years ago. Kuang, 48, also known as Wendy, had once been a naturalized U.S. citizen but was removed from the United States via immigration proceedings, according to a spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Beijing who spoke to The Wall Street Journal.
Kuang was returned to China on a chartered jet, and photos of the deportee were included in a statement Thursday from China’s anti-corruption agency, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.
Kuang is the second Chinese fugitive repatriated to China in the past two weeks. On Sept. 18, CNN reported Washington deported Chinese businessman Yang Jinjun, a suspect in corruption and bribery cases, according to Beijing. Yu Zhendong, a fugitive extradited to China in 2004 by the FBI, was the last case of a embezzlement-related deportation before Yang then Kuang were ordered to leave the United States.
Kuang had been sentenced to eight years in prison in a U.S. court after she was charged with embezzlement related to a 1990s bank theft at a branch of a state-owned Chinese bank in the city of Kaiping. She had been married to a bank manager who is serving a 25-year sentence in the United States.
Washington increasingly has been taking a cooperative stance with China on extraditions of wanted individuals, despite an ongoing concern over how they may be treated in Beijing’s justice system. Chinese nationals caught lying on federal forms and violating U.S. law can also be removed from the United States.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry said Thursday Kuang’s extradition was an “important action taken by China and the United States.”
Xi has said Beijing intends to work with other countries to fight corruption and track down fugitives. China had reached an agreement last November with 20 other nations of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation bloc to expand law-enforcement networks to battle graft, Yonhap reported.