A Mahwah woman who allegedly defrauded investors out of $10 million was arrested at her township home Thursday morning by special agents of the FBI and the US Department of the Treasury, New Jersey US Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced in a release.
According to Fishman, Sara Rong Liu, is the President of a textile and interior design company Westone, Inc, headquartered in Hackensack. Liu is being charged with one count of wire fraud for allegedly scamming investors through several different fraud schemes, he said.
In one, Liu allegedly told investors across the US and in China that Westone had been awarded a $156.6 million contract by the New York City Department of Design and Construction Fund, Fishman said. Liu then told investors that Westone had to pay certain fees before the NYC DCC would release payments, and created fake documents and emails from the NYC DDC to support her story, authorities said.
In another scheme, Liu told investors that she was receiving a large inheritance from her uncle’s estate in China, but first needed money to pay taxes on it, Fishman said. If they helped her pay the taxes, she’d give them some of the money, he said.
Between about October of 2010 and February of 2012, “investors gave Liu millions,” Fishman said in the release.
“In all, the defendant obtained more than approximately $10 million in illegitimate proceeds from victim investors.”
Liu is expected to appear in a Newark federal court Thursday afternoon. Authorities say she faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.