An Irvine-based immigration attorney went on trial in Santa Ana Tuesday on charges of obstructing justice in a case involving a crackdown on a scheme to help Chinese nationals give birth in America to establish U.S. citizenship for their newborns.
Ken Zhiyi Liang is charged in a three-count indictment with conspiracy to obstruct justice. His attorney said his client is innocent, and he will try to prove that prosecutors cherry-picked damaging comments out of context to make their case.
U.S. District Judge Andrew Guilford, who is presiding over the case without a jury, will hear wiretap recordings of the defendant that prosecutors say are about 3 1/2 hours long.
Liang, 38, is accused of taking a $6,000 bribe to help a witness leave the country illegally. To avoid prosecution, the witness agreed to help investigators, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Jerry Yang.
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