Li Fangwei, who is more commonly known by the name Karl Lee, was previously sanctioned by the United States for his alleged role as a principal supplier to Iran's ballistic missile program. It is alleged that from 2006 through the present time Li Fangwei controlled a large network of front companies based in Eastern China which he allegedly used to defraud United States banks, regulators, and companies in violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and the Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferators Sanctions Regulations. It is also alleged that he continues to violate United States law and economic sanctions by engaging in prohibited transactions worth millions of dollars through United States-based financial institutions.
Li Fangwei was indicted on April 28, 2014, in the United States District Court, Southern District of New York, and a federal arrest warrant was issued after he was charged with Conspiracy to Violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (One Count); Violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (Two Counts); Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering (One Count); Conspiracy to Commit Wire and Bank Fraud (One Count); and Wire Fraud (Two Counts).
Li Fangwei is known to speak both Mandarin and English.