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Long Islanders charged with conspiring with the Chinese government to harass dissidents

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Two Long Islanders face federal charges for stalking and harassing Americans who openly criticized the Chinese Communist Party.

Fan Liu, of Jericho, and Matthew Ziburis, of Oyster Bay, along with three others, allegedly conspired with the Chinese government to invoke “harassment and smear campaigns” against Chinese dissidents. Federal authorities are investigating a mix of U.S. and Chinese citizens.

Officials said two of the schemes involved help from the Chinese government’s Ministry of State Security — a secret police and civilian intelligence agency that deals with political security.

The two Long Islanders are accused of trying to bribe the Internal Revenue Service to see the federal tax returns of an outspoken Chinese dissident.

Another of their group’s targets included Yan Xiong — a U.S. military veteran, and Tiananmen Square demonstrator who’s running for Congress on Long Island. In an attempt to stop his political campaign, the group allegedly tried to stage a prostitution scandal.

Officials said prosecuting these allegations is a "national security imperative."

Sabrina is host and producer of WSHU’s daily podcast After All Things. She also produces the climate podcast Higher Ground and other long-form news and music programs at the station. Sabrina spent two years as a WSHU fellow, working as a reporter and assisting with production of The Full Story.