Elizabeth Lai - Page 5

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          purchased the cashier’s check with funds from Gioni Birkenfeld,             
          petitioner’s former daughter-in-law and the mother of                       
          petitioner’s grandchild, and with funds that came indirectly from           
          Hong Lai, petitioner’s sister.  Gioni Birkenfeld gave petitioner            
          $17,000.  Hong Lai, who lived in Vietnam at the time, arranged              
          for several relatives in the United States to give money to                 
          petitioner.  When those relatives later traveled to Vietnam, Hong           
          Lai repaid them the amounts they paid petitioner, which the                 
          relatives would use during their trips in Vietnam.3  Acting on              
          Hong Lai’s behalf, petitioner then used the cash she received               
          from the relatives to pay for the remaining portion of the                  
          cashier’s check for which Gioni Birkenfeld did not pay.                     
               On October 2, 2000, petitioner purchased a residence in                
          Portland, Oregon, apparently using the cashier’s check as a                 
          downpayment.  Gioni Birkenfeld lived in the residence for 14                
          months after it was purchased, during which time she assumed                
          responsibility for mortgage payments of approximately $1,500 per            
          month.  Hong Lai lived in the residence for a brief period when             
          she arrived in the United States in 2003.  The residence was sold           
          in September 2003.                                                          

               3  A vital factual underpinning of petitioner’s actions in             
          this case is her (and her family’s) reluctance to transport                 
          money--particularly large sums of U.S. dollars--between Vietnam             
          and the United States in ordinary banking transactions.                     
          Petitioner and her family apparently feared that Vietnamese                 
          officials would seize the money if discovered.                              

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