Friday, January 18, 2008

Chinese smuggler owns almost $1 million in Pennsylvania property

Bao Ping Zheng, 39, owns nearly $1 million in property -- including his Chinese restaurant supply business and his home, government records show. Zheng, however, is an illegal immigrant, and has been charged with harboring aliens from his native China.

An illegal immigrant can run a business in the United States without too many obstacles, said Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies. 'We've actually made it pretty easy to do business as an illegal alien -- a lot easier than most people think,' he added.

Zheng appeared before U.S. Magistrate Robert C. Mitchell in Pittsburgh. He has been in federal custody at the Allegheny County Jail since September

Department of State documents list Zheng as president of New Chinatown Inc., located at 1300 Island Ave. in Stowe. These documents, filed from 2000 to 2002, name the businesses as New Chinatown Realty LLC, New Chinatown Trading LLC and New Chinatown LLC.

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