Chinese National and Berklee College Student Convicted for Cyberstalking Democracy Activist

Chinese National Xiaolei Wu Convicted for Cyberstalking and Threats Against Democracy Supporter:

In a landmark case, a federal jury has convicted Xiaolei Wu, a 26-year-old People’s Republic of China (PRC) national and Berklee College of Music student.

Wu was found guilty of cyberstalking, interstate transmissions of threatening communication, and stalking, following a four-day jury trial in the District of Massachusetts.

Legal Proceedings: Arrest and Indictment:

Wu’s legal troubles began in December 2022 when he was arrested and charged with the aforementioned offenses. He was later indicted by a federal grand jury in January 2023.

Justice Department’s Stance:

Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen emphasized the Department’s commitment to safeguarding the rights of U.S. residents, ensuring freedom of expression. Acting U.S. Attorney Joshua S.

Levy underscored Wu’s conviction for attempting to suppress speech by a fellow Berklee School of Music student critical of the Chinese government.

FBI’s Involvement and Democratic Values:

Special Agent in Charge Jodi Cohen of the FBI Boston Division condemned Wu’s actions, stating that attempting to silence an activist expressing dissent goes against democratic values.

The FBI is dedicated to upholding the fundamental right to free speech.

Timeline of Threatening Communications:

Beginning on or about October 22, 2022, and continuing until October 24, 2022, Wu used various communication platforms, including WeChat, email, and Instagram, to send threats to the victim who had posted democracy-supporting fliers.

The threats included physical harm and informing Chinese authorities about the victim’s actions.

Conviction and Statutory Penalties:

Wu was convicted of cyberstalking and interstate transmissions of threatening communication, each carrying a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000.

A federal district court judge will determine the sentence, considering U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Investigation Details and Prosecution Team:

The FBI conducted the investigation, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Timothy H. Kistner and Alathea E. Porter for the District of Massachusetts are prosecuting the case.

Trial Attorney Menno Goedman from the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section provided assistance.

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