Law & Crime Politics & Protest Science & Technology SinoBeat

Chinese woman arrested at Trump resort with malware on USB drive

A Chinese woman carrying multiple cellphones and a thumb drive containing malware was arrested on Saturday at US President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida while he was staying there, court documents revealed Tuesday.

An arrest document in the federal district court of Palm Beach, Florida said Zhang Yujing tried to gain entry into Mar-a-Lago on Saturday, first presenting herself as a member and saying she was headed to the pool — despite not having a swimsuit. Then, she claimed to be attending a non-existent Chinese-American friendship event.

Donald Trump

Donald Trump. File photo: White House.

After she was detained, she offered an additional story: that she was asked by a Chinese friend named Charles to travel from Shanghai to attend the event and attempt to speak to a member of the president’s family about US-China economic relations, the document said.

The woman carried two passports from the People’s Republic of China, according to the US Secret Service which arrested her. The charge documents mistakenly identified them as being from the “Republic of China,” the official name of Taiwan.

Secret Service agents at the scene found four cellphones, a laptop computer, an external hard drive and a thumb drive that “contained malicious software”, according to the document.

Zhang was arrested and charged with making false statements to federal officers and knowingly entering a restricted building — which Mar-a-Lago becomes while Trump is in residence.

mar-a-lago trump

Mar-a-Lago. File photo: White House.

Trump owns the luxurious beachside club in the wealthy Atlantic coast city of Palm Beach, and travels there frequently on weekends to play golf and meet friends.

He keeps a residence in a private area of the club, but was reportedly golfing at a nearby course around the time Zhang was there.

While Zhang’s story of attending an event that was not on the club schedule raised suspicions, the Miami Herald reported that there might have been substance to it.

Two events had been recently advertised at Mar-a-Lago for March 30 by a local Chinese-American businesswoman, Cindy Yang, on Chinese language social media, the Herald said.

Yang is a Mar-a-Lago member who built and later sold a chain of massage parlors in Florida, which were recently raided by police over prostitution. In recent years she has promoted herself as a path of access to the US president, his family, and other decision-makers.

Yang’s website featured pictures of her with Trump and other members of his family and senior administration officials.

The Herald also said that an event promoter who Yang worked with was named Charles Lee.


The Hong Kong Free Press #PressForFreedom 2019 Funding Drive seeks to raise HK$1.2m to support our non-profit newsroom and dedicated team of multi-media, multi-lingual reporters.  HKFP is backed by readers, run by journalists and is immune to political and commercial pressure. This year’s critical fundraiser will provide us with the essential funds to continue our work into next year.

hong kong free press 2019 press for freedom funding drive footer (2)

Chinese woman arrested at Trump resort with malware on USB drive