A woman raked in more than $3 million in a complex scheme that helped Chinese citizens travel to the United States to give birth so that their children would receive U.S. citizenship.
She was sentenced to 10 months in prison Monday by U.S. District Judge James Selna.
Li is one of three people arrested this year on “birth tourism” charges. Selena said he expects her to be released from custody late Monday due to time served. She pleaded guilty earlier this year to conspiracy and visa fraud, according to the Associated Press.
“I am very sorry for the mistakes that I have made,” she wrote in a Dec. 1 letter. “I truly sincerely apologize for any harm that I have caused to the American society.”
According to multiple reports, Dongyuan Li received millions in international wire transfers from China through her business You Win USA Vacation Services Corp., which coached families on how to pass their visa interviews and bypass immigration controls.
Many of her clients, which included government officials, lawyers and doctors, according to FOX 5 San Diego, stayed in California apartments during their time in the United States.
Li advertised online, touting the benefits of U.S. citizenship and, according to the indictment, offered a how-to course titled “Strategies to Maximize the Chance of Entry.”
She claimed to have served more than 500 customers and that her business employed a 100-person team, which often told women to travel when their pregnancy was noticeable.
Funds from the business apparently afforded Li a lavish lifestyle. Government officials seized two of her properties, six cars, 10 gold bars and various items of expensive jewelry.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.