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Man in fake ID scheme found guilty

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YOUZHE Piao became the first defendant to be found guilty and convicted in the new federal courthouse, which opened on July 27.

Piao was charged with one count of conspiracy to unlawfully produce an identification document.

His jury trial started on Tuesday. On Thursday, it took the jury about three hours to reach a verdict.  

District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona allowed Piao to remain at liberty. Assistant U.S. Attorney Garth Backe, the prosecutor, did not object.

Judge Manglona scheduled Piao’s sentencing for Dec. 18 at 9 a.m.

Among the pieces of evidence presented by the prosecution were a forged U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services  receipt, Piao’s 2014 and 2017 driver’s license application packets, among other things.

Piao did not testify during the trial. His court-appointed counsel, Colin Thompson, said:  “We respect the jury’s decision. It took about three hours to make the decision and [they] listened to two hours of testimony. I am sure they took careful [and] fair consideration [of the testimonies and evidence, but]  we don’t agree with the verdict.”

He said he will be talking to his client about Piao’s appeal and post-trial rights.

Piao was arrested and charged in Oct. 2019.

According to the federal government, between May 13, 2017 and May 16, 2017, Piao knowingly and intentionally conspired and agreed with another person to produce a false identification document in violation of U.S. law.

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