Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez announced today that 44-year-old Xuekun Su was sentenced to 1-and-a-half to 4-and-a-half years in prison following her guilty plea to second-degree grand larceny as a hate crime.
Su admitted to stealing about $140,000 in cash and gold jewelry from a 61-year-old Chinese woman during an elaborate scam last year when she convinced the victim that she needed to remove a deadly curse on her family.
According to Gonzalez, the defendant, who acted with other individuals who were not apprehended, approached the victim on April 27, 2016, in the vicinity of Bay 22nd Street and 86th Street in Bensonhurst.
Su and her accomplices started a conversation with the victim, gaining her trust. They then claimed to be clairvoyants and warned the victim that she or a family member would die if they did not help her by removing a curse.
They convinced her to bring large sums of cash and jewelry for them to bless in order to remove the alleged curse. They told the victim that after they blessed and removed the evil spirits they would return her belongings to her. The victim handed the group approximately $140,000 in cash and several pieces of gold jewelry, Gonzalez states.
The victim was instructed to place the cash and jewelry into a bag for the “blessing.” The defendant and her cronies snagged the victim’s valuables and returned a closed bag to her, instructing the victim that the blessing would not work if she opened the bag right away.
The victim contacted police after the group left and she opened the bag and discovered that her property was gone.
Su admitted that she had chosen her victim based on her age and national origin—making her larceny conviction a hate crime under New York State law, according to Gonzalez.
“After targeting vulnerable immigrant women, this defendant stole the victim’s life savings by exploiting the fears and beliefs of the culture they shared,” Gonzalez said in a statement.
“Her deplorable conduct more than merits the prison sentence imposed today. I will aggressively prosecute those who seek to profit from our immigrant communities, and we will continue my Office’s efforts to educate everybody about common illegal schemes like this Chinese blessing scam, as we do in our monthly Immigration Forums,” the Acting District Attorney added.