Woman Gets 20 Years for $22.8M Fraud Scheme Involving Coachella Valley Project

A woman was sentenced in Los Angeles federal court Monday to 20 years in federal prison for soliciting over $22.8 million in funds for a condominium and hotel complex in the Coachella Valley, then spending part of the money on luxury cars, travel and designer clothing.

Ruixue “Serena” Shi of Arcadia, in L.A. County, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner, who also ordered her to pay $35,842,329 in restitution, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Shi, 38, pleaded guilty in October 2021 to one count of wire fraud. She has been in federal custody since August 2020 after law enforcement discovered she had been researching how to flee the United States on a contraband iPhone while free on bond.

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