Yupeng Deng, a 51-year-old Chinese national living in a Los Angeles suburb, set up a fake U.S. Army unit with himself as the “Supreme Commander.” Deng actively recruited over 200 other Chinese nationals with promises of U.S. citizenship in return. This was no volunteer outfit, though. He charged each of the “soldiers” $300 and up to “be all that he can be.” The men wore military uniforms, were publicly trained, and even visited the decommissioned USS Midway as part of the charade. This just shows the levels of desperation that immigrants to this country go through to become American citizens. These men were “lucky”; others have gone through a much worse fate.
Deng was arrested in April, seemingly after someone finally realized the scam. He faced “charges of theft by false pretenses, manufacturing deceptive government documents and counterfeit of an official government seal.”
After his guilty plea, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Jack Hunt sentenced Deng to three years in prison. It is truly amazing that this could happen near a large city. Not only are rogue militia frowned upon by many, the post 9/11 atmosphere has all of us mentally repeating the mantra, “If you see something, say something.”