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Case 1:16-cr-00495-GBD Document 69 Filed 06/18/19 Page 1 of 10

G GOODWIN Derek A Cohen

212.459. 7060
Goodwin Procter LLP
The New York Times Building
620 Eighth Avenue
New York. NY 10018

Lauren A Bowman

212 459 7228 +1 212 813 8800

June 13 , 2019


The Honorable George B. Daniels

United States District Court
Southern District of New York
Daniel Patrick Moynihan
United States Courthouse
500 Pearl Street
New York, New York 10007-1312

Re: United States v. Julia Vivi Wang, 16-cr-495 (GBD)

Dear Judge Daniels :

We respectfully submit this letter on behalf of Julia Vivi ("Vivian") Wang in advance of her June 26,
2019 sentencing at 10:00 AM. we respectfully request that this letter
and its attachments be filed under seal.

Vivian Wang is a 58-year old widow with no prior criminal history

spending her entire adult life as a homemaker with limite Eng 1s pro 1c1ency, s e ecame involved in
the charged scheme when her deceased husband, Yan Xia ("Forest") Cao, a businessman primarily
based in Hong Kong, installed her as an executive at two different non-governmental organizations
("NGOs") based in New York that he and his business associates controlled. In this capacity, Vivian
facilitated illegal payments from Forest and his associates to John Ashe, the former Permanent
Representative of Antigua and Barbuda ("Antigua") to the United Nations ("UN"), and later the former
President of the UN General Assembly, and other foreign officials designed to advance the business
interests of Forest and his associates in certain developing countries. Vivian also failed to accurately
report on her taxes monies provided by Forest from one of the NGOs used for her own personal
expenses. On April 4, 2018, Vivian pleaded guilty pursuant to a lea agreement to a three-
count Superseding Information charging her with conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices
Act ("FCPA"), violating the FCPA, and subscribing to false and fraudulent tax returns from 2010 to
2013 . (DktNo . 56.)

As discussed in detail herein, Vivian has fully accepted responsibility for her role in the charged scheme,
is no longer in a osition to artici ate in such activit a ain, and has filed amended tax returns for 2010
to 2013 .
The letters submitted with this submission also speak to Vivian ' s character and
Case 1:16-cr-00495-GBD Document 69 Filed 06/18/19 Page 2 of 10

Hon. George B. Daniels
June 13 , 2019
Page 2

her remorse for her conduct. (See Exhibit A-Exhibit E.) Based on all the relevant factors described
below, we respectfully urge the Court to sentence Vivian to time served. We note that this request is in
line with the recommendation of the Probation Office. (See Dkt. No. 68, Presentence Investigation
Report ("PSR") at 24-27) ("We respectfully recommend that Your Honor impose a sentence of Time
Served, followed by a three-year term of supervised release.").

I. Background

Vivian was born "Wei Wang" in 1961 in Beijing, China. Vivian ' s childhood was impacted by the
Cultural Revolution in China. During this time, her parents were required to perform agricultural labor
and she was sent to live with her grandparents until her parents were able to return. Vivian was also
subject to a mandatory physical labor requirement after she completed high school. As a gifted dancer,
however, Vivian was permitted to serve her mandatory service as a dance performer in the military. It
took Vivian three years to complete her service. She later attended college to study television
production. In 1984, she met Forest, and within a month, the couple eloped. That same year, they had
their only child, Bettie Cao ("Bettie").

In or about 1993 , Vivian entered the United States on a visa and became a permanent resident in 1995.
She became a naturalized United States citizen in approximately 2002 and settled in California with
Bettie. Vivian raised Bettie in the United States and, consistent with Forest' s wishes, did not work
outside the home. 1 During this time Forest, was generally abroad in China or Hong Kong. Over time,
Vivian and Forest grew apart, and while they never divorced, they began to live separate lives in
different countries. Once Bettie "grew up and became more independent[,]" (Exhibit B at 2), Vivian
began to lack purpose and became depressed. (See Exhibit A, Vivian Wang Ltr. at I.) Living apart
from Forest also took a toll on Vivian. She "was often lonely and unhappy." (Exhibit B at 2.) With
Bettie out of the house, Vivian " needed something to do." (Id.)

In or about 2010, Forest began to involve Vivian in some of his projects in the United States. This was
the first time in Vi vian ' s adult life that she had worked outside the home or had been involved in any
business dealings. Her first position was Vice President of South-South News (" SSN"), ostensibly a
media outlet to cover positive news about developing countries, headquartered in New York. SSN was
the product of a partnership between Forest, Ng Lap Seng ("Ng"), a Chinese billionaire with alleged ties
to the Chinese government, and Francis Lorenzo, the former Deputy Permanent Representative to the
UN for the Dominican Republic. Both of Forest's partners in this venture, Lorenzo and Ng, were later
prosecuted in this district for various bribery schemes both related and unrelated to SSN. Forest passed
away in Hong Kong in 2014

See Exhibit B , Bettie Cao Ltr. at I ("My mother has always been a housewife ever since I was born. My father was very
traditional and very alpha-male (usually in China, the wife would have no voice and the wife listened to whatever the
husband told them to do), so ever since I was born, my mother has dedicated her almost entire life to taking care of me and
the famil y." ).
Case 1:16-cr-00495-GBD Document 69 Filed 06/18/19 Page 3 of 10

Hon. George B. Daniels
June 13 , 2019
Page 3

Forest was 57 years old

o autopsy was per ormed.

In or about 2012, Vivian was installed as Vice President of the International Organization for South
South Cooperation ("IOSSC"), another one of Forest's projects that also involved Lorenzo. IOSSC was
ostensibly an NGO devoted to assisting developing countries, primarily in conjunction with the UN. In
reality, both SSN and IOSSC appear to have been used as vehicles by Forest, Ng, Lorenzo and their
associates to develop business opportunities in certain developing countries.

While Vivian held senior titles at these organizations, she lacked complete visibility into the various
business projects that Forest, Lorenzo, Ng, and others were pursuing. Instead, her duties were primarily
issuing checks at Forest' s direction and organizing social events and gatherings involving UN officials
and other foreign dignitaries. In this capacity, however, she did help facilitate payments from Forest and
his business associates to Ashe and other foreign officials that are the subject of her prosecution and
related investigations.

Specifically, on or about April 2, 2013 , Vivian wired $500,000 from IOSSC's bank account to an
account in Trinidad connected to Ashe, who was then the Permanent Representative of Antigua to the
UN. The money had been sent from China for official Antiguan diplomatic positions that Forest and
one of his Chinese business associates, with assistance from Lorenzo, had negotiated with Ashe. Vivian
also signed checks for Ashe in conjunction with a purported consulting position he had with SSN and
provided him with other gifts and benefits.

Vivian was arrested in March 2016 after numerous attempts by the Government to interview her were
a arentl i nored b her rior counsel. After her arrest, Vivian retained current counsel
Lorenzo pleaded guilty and - cooperated with the
Government. He is awaiting sentencing before the Honorable Vernon S. Broderick. Ng was convicted
after trial and sentenced to four years in prison by Judge Broderick. (PSR ,r 11.) Ashe was also charged
with two counts of subscribing to false and fraudulent U.S. individual income tax returns in connection
with the larger UN bribery scheme, (15-cr-706, Dkt. Nos . 38, 216), but was found dead, while awaiting
trial , in June 2016. His death was reported as the result of a "weightlifting accident" after a barbell
apparently crushed his throat. 3

Vivian also admitted to using money from IOSSC, an entity that her husband controlled and funded , for her own personal
expenses without declaring such funds as income. Vivian accepted the Government's tax loss calculations and has since filed
amended returns for tax years 2010 to 2013.
See, e.g., Nate Raymond, Ex-UN General Assembly president died in weight-lifting accident, Reuters, June 22 , 2016,
idUSKC 0Z82YX ; Barbell accident kills former UN leader accused of corruption , The Guardian, June 24, 2016 ,
Case 1:16-cr-00495-GBD Document 69 Filed 06/18/19 Page 4 of 10

Hon. George B. Daniels
June 13 , 2019
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Since Vivian was arrested in March 2016, she has been on various forms of release conditions ranging
from house arrest with a GPS ankle bracelet, to a curfew, and now to travel restrictions. Appendix A
provides a list of her conditions over time. Vivian has fully complied with her release conditions for the
past three years. (PSR ~ 13.) Since 2014, when Forest passed, Vivian was diagnosed, and has since
struggled, with anxiety. (Id. ~~ 90-91; Exhibit B at 2.) Her arrest and the events that followed have
exacerbated her condition. As a result, her daughter has "called [ambulances] so many times" she has
lost count due to her mom's panic attacks and overall mental health . (Exhibit B at 2.) Bettie has
described her mom ' s arrest as an event that left Vivian feel in like "she was suffocating" and deprived
of hope. (Id.) (PSR ~ 91.)

Vivian 's arrest and conviction have been the subject of significant media coverage here and abroad. 4
She has been publicly humiliated and has largely withdrawn from any social life. (See Exhibit A at 2.)
With the anxiety she has endured during this process, the restrictions on her freedom for over three years
and the public humiliation , Vivian has already been punished significantly for her conduct. In addition,
she has filed amended tax returns and agreed to pay restitution in the amount of $629,295 , (PSR ~ 50),
so the financial implications for her have been severe. Vivian also pleaded guilty to the forfeiture
allegations in the Superseding Information. (Dkt. No. 55.)

https :/ /www .theguard ian .com/ us-news/20 16/ jun/24/barbel 1-acc ident-ki I ls-former-u n-l eader-accused-of-corruption . [Exhibit
See, e.g., Benjamin Weiser, Business Executive From China Is Charged in U.N. Bribery Case, The New York Times, March
18, 2016 , 16/03/19/nyregion/business-executive-from-china-is-charged-in-un-bribery-case.html ;
Nate Raymond, U.S. makes new arrest in U.N. bribery case, Reuters, March 18, 2016, le/ us-un-
corruption/u-s-makes-new-arrest-in-u-n-bribery-case-idUSKCNOWK I XF; Jonathan Stempel , Chinese-born executive pleads
guilty in U.N. bribery case, Reuters, April 4, 2018,
executive-pl eads-gui lty-i n-u-n-bribery-case-idUSKCN I HB2OE; Pete Brush , Woman Who Helped Bribe Top Diplomat Cops
To FCPA Counts, law360, April 4, 2018, https://www.1 ribe-top-
dip lomat-cops-to-fcpa-counts .
Case 1:16-cr-00495-GBD Document 69 Filed 06/18/19 Page 5 of 10

Hon . George B. Daniels
June 13 , 2019
Page 5
Case 1:16-cr-00495-GBD Document 69 Filed 06/18/19 Page 6 of 10

Hon. George B. Daniels
June 13 , 2019
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III. Guidelines Calculation

We agree with the Guidelines calculation set forth in the PSR.

IV. Legal Standard at Sentencing

"The [sentencing] statute, as modified by [United States v. Booker] , contains an overarching provision
instructing district courts to 'impose a sentence sufficient, but not greater than necessary,' to accomplish
the goals of sentencing .... " Kimbrough v. United States, 552 U.S . 85 , 101 (2007) (citing 18 U.S.C. §
3553(a)); Un ited States v. Booker, 543 U.S. 220, 268-69 (2005). Further, the Court must consider "the
nature and circumstances of the offense and the history and characteristics of the defendant[,]" (18
U.S .C. § 3553(a)(l)), and impose a sentence designed : "(A) to reflect the seriousness of the offense, to
promote respect for the law, and to provide just punishment for the offense; (B) to afford adequate
deterrence to criminal conduct; (C) to protect the public from further crimes of the defendant; and (D) to
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Hon. George B. Daniels
June 13 , 2019
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provide the defendant with needed educational or vocational training, medical care, or other correctional
treatment in the most effective manner[,]" (§ 3553(a)(2)).

For the reasons described in detail below, Vivian should receive a non-Guidelines sentence
nd section 3553(a) considerations.

b. Section 3553(a) Factors Support a Lesser Sentence

Pursuant to 18 U.S .C. § 3553(a), the statutory sentencing factors are, "broadly speaking, proportionality,
deterrence, incapacitation, and rehabilitation." Douglas, 713 F.3d at 700. In light of all of these
considerations, Vivian should be given a sentence of time served.

1. Seriousness of the Offense

Vivian is aware of and has internalized the seriousness of the offenses she has committed and takes full
responsibility for her conduct. While she was not the driving force for the charged FCPA violations, she
knowingly facilitated payments and other things of value to foreign officials, including facilitating a
payment of $500,000 to an account knowing that it was being sent in relation to Forest and his
associate' s attempt to obtain official diplomatic positions from Ashe. It is worth noting that the relevant
sentencing guideline section, (U.S.S.G. § 2Cl.l), is largely driven by the amount of the payment to
Ashe, thus we respectfully submit that the Guidelines overstate the seriousness of her actual conduct,
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Hon. George B. Daniels
June 13 , 2019
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which involved facilitating a bribe, the amount of which she had no particular control over or interest
in_ JO

2. Adequate Deterrence

Vivian has no prior criminal history, (see PSR ~ 70), and there is no risk that she will engage in similar
conduct going forward. Her access to the world connected to the charge scheme was possible through
Forest and his business associates. With Forest gone, Vivian lacks the access or resources to engage in
such conduct. More importantly, Vivian has learned a hard lesson from her short time in the business
world and wants no part of it going forward. She intends to move full-time to her home in California
and live a quiet life. (Exhibit A at 2.) A sentence of time served is appropriate here.

3. Proportionality

A sentence of time served would also be proportionate given Vivian ' s role in the offense
Sentences received by other defendants in the Government's broader UN investigation,
who were significantly more culpable provide some useful context.

For instance, Ng, who was clearly the most culpable defendant charged in the Government's
investigation, received a sentence of 48 months, (PSR ~ 11), after being convicted after trial and with
advisory guidelines of 235 to 293 months, (l 5-cr-706, Dkt. No. 746 at 4). The Government described
Ng's conduct as "extensive, deliberate and exceedingly criminal" and noted that he did not just engage
in a massive bribery and money laundering scheme, but "orchestrated and led" it. (Id.)

Ng' s assistant, Jeff Yin, who, according to the Government' s sentencing submission, "agreed to and did
engage in a massive, international bribery and money laundering scheme, in which he assisted Ng to pay
more than $1 million in bribes, in various forms , to two senior UN ambassadors[,]"(15-cr-706, Dkt. No .
715 at 4 ), received a sentence of 7 months, after he was permitted to plead to a single tax count, (PSR ~
10). He had an advisory guideline range of 24 to 30 months . (l 5-cr-706, Dkt. No. 715 at 6).

Sheri Yan, who was directly involved with negotiating and paying bribes to UN and other officials
received 20 months, (PSR ~ 8), with an advisory guideline range of 70 to 87 months, (15-cr-706, Dkt.
No. 227 at 8). The Government noted in its sentencing submission that she was a "former CEO and
founder of multiple businesses, [who] engaged in repeated bribery of [Ashe] ," explaining that "the
defendant was using her experience and her contacts to engage in significant corruption, helping herself
and others to cheat their ways to titles and business opportunities ... . " (Id. at 2.)

See Hon . Jed S. Rakoff, Why the Federal Sentencing Guidelines Should be Scrapped, 26 Fed . Sent. R. 6,7 2013 WL
8 I 71733 (noting that placing an "overwhelming focus" on an objective amount simply because it is easy to measure does not
"fairl y convey the reality of the crime or the criminal.").
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Hon. George B. Daniels
June 13, 2019
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None of these related defendants

foregoing, a sentence of time served is proportional and appropriate.

Respectfully submitted,

Ma -~@
Derek A. Cohen
Lauren Bowman
The New York Times Building
620 Eighth A venue
New York, NY 10018
Tel.: 212.459.7060
Fax. : 212.208.2573

AUSA Daniel C. Richenthal (via email)
AUSA Janis Echenberg (via email)
AUSA Douglas S. Zolkind (via email)
Trial Attorney David A. Last (via email)
Case 1:16-cr-00495-GBD Document 69 Filed 06/18/19 Page 10 of 10

Hon. George B. Daniels
June 13 , 2019
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3/18/16 (Dkt. No. 4): Vivian's original bail conditions were: $1,500,00 in bail secured by her residence
in California, travel limited to the SDNY and EDNY, surrender of travel documents with no new
applications, strict pretrial supervision, home detention, GPS electronic monitoring, no transfer of
money outside of the United States, and a requirement that her residence be maintained.

5/11/16 (Dkt. No. 12): The Court modified the bail conditions to allow Vivian to walk her dog outside
between 6:00 PM-8:00 PM.

7/27/16 (Dkt. No. 24): The Court modified the bail conditions to allow Vivian to be outside of her
apartment between 11 :00 AM-I :00 PM in addition to between 6:00 PM-8:00 PM.

I 0/7/16 (Dkt. No. 32): The Court modified the bail conditions to allow Vivian to (I) travel within the
SDNY and EDNY between the hours of 7:00 AM and 11 :00 PM and to (2) permit Vivian to travel
outside of these districts, but not outside of the country, with prior approval from Pretrial Services and
the Government.

5/10/17 (Dkt. No. 40): The Court modified the bail conditions to eliminate the requirement that Vivian
wear a GPS monitoring device, while maintaining all other current conditions, including her home

12/04/17 (Dkt. No. 44): The Court modified the bail conditions to eliminate Vivian' s curfew, while all
other conditions remained in place, which included:

I. Travel restricted to the EDNY and SDNY without prior approval from the Government and
Pretrial Services;
2. Bail of $1 ,500,000 secured by her property in California;
3. Pretrial Supervision;
4. A prohibition on transferring money outside of the United States;
5. An order to remain at her current residence; and
6. The surrender of travel documents with the inability to make any new applications.