BOSTON – A Westford man pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court in Boston to conspiring to commit bank fraud and possessing an unregistered firearm.
Bin Lu, 49, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and one count of possession of an unregistered firearm before U.S. District Court Judge George A. O’Toole Jr., who scheduled sentencing for Nov. 10, 2021. Lu was arrested and charged in January 2021 with conspiracy to violate provisions of the National Firearms Act (NFA).
According to the charging documents, Lu and, allegedly, co-conspirator Daniel Whitman sought to build a large indoor shooting range, which would serve both regional and international customers, as well as offer shooting clinics and other services. Lu and his co-conspirator brought in a Chinese investor, who contributed several million dollars to the project. However, in applying for loans from federally insured financial institutions, Lu and, allegedly, his co-conspirators hid the true source of their initial funding from the banks and filed false documents in connection with their loan applications.
Lu also possessed a firearm that had been modified by the addition of a folding stock, resulting in its classification as a short-barreled rifle (SBR) under the NFA. The SBR was not registered to Lu in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record as required by the NFA.
On June 3, 2021, Whitman was indicted on charges of bank fraud and violations of the NFA and is awaiting trial.
The charge of conspiracy to commit bank fraud provides for a sentence of up to 30 years in prison, up to five years of supervised release and a fine of $1 million, or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater. The charge of possession of an unregistered firearm provides for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, up to three years of supervised release and a fine of $10,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell; William S. Walker, Acting Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; Jonathan Davidson, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service, Boston Field Office; Joshua McCallister, Acting Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in Boston; and Ramsey E. Covington, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigations in Boston made the announcement. The Westford Police Department provided special assistance in this case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Eugenia M. Carris, Deputy Chief of Mendell’s Public Corruption & Special Prosecutions Unit, is prosecuting the case.