Friday, March 1, 2013 at 8:43 a.m.
A Newport Coast importer of Chinese furniture for stores like Home Depot, Lowe's, Costco and TJMaxx has been punished by a federal judge for cheating in a scheme to defraud banks involving a $130 million loan deal.
This week inside Orange County's Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse, U.S. District Court Judge Cormac J. Carney penalized Cheri Fu (AKA "Cheri L. Shyu) with a 36-month trip to prison and a demand that she pay $4.7 million in restitution of which $250,000 is due within 90 days.
A grand jury in Southern California indicted Fu and her husband, Thomas Chia Fu, in March 2011 on nine counts relating to bank fraud after government agents discovered the couple used their Galleria, USA, Inc. on East La Palma in Anaheim to routinely falsify inventory import and sales figures--sometimes inflating numbers by 100 percent--in an effort to trick a consortium of banks including Bank of America.
The Fu's originally pleaded not guilty after their arrests, but months later they admitted to the scam for a reduction in punishment.
Cheri Fu, who was born in 1952, has until noon on May 29 to surrender to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons. When she emerges back into society she will have to undergo five years of supervised federal probation.
Her husband, who was born in 1949, has not yet been sentenced by Carney.
California Secretary of State records show that Cheri Fu also owns the CTGF Family Limited Partnership as well as two other businesses now with cancelled registrations: Isa Properties, LLC and Hhe Properties LLC.