Mar-a-Lago trespasser sentenced to 8 months in prison
Chinese national Yujing Zhang was sentenced to eight months in prison and two years of supervised release over her arrest for trespassing at President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club in Florida last March, a Justice Department official told ABC News Monday.
Zhang was convicted in September for one count of lying to a federal officer and one count of entering restricted grounds.
On March 30, staff mistakenly allowed Zhang in to Mar-a-Lago and said that she misrepresented herself to several Secret Service officers as she made her way through security checkpoints. She was flagged to security after a receptionist said her name was not on the access list for the club.
Following her arrest, investigators suggested they had suspicions about potential ties to Chinese intelligence after finding Zhang in possession of several electronic devices, including one device that could be used to detect hidden cameras.
Zhang was never formally charged with espionage, however, and in a statement following her verdict she re-asserted her belief that she had done nothing wrong.
During her trial, Zhang represented herself after rejecting the court’s offer for a public defender.
She was admonished several times by Judge Roy Altman for instances of bizarre behavior, including complaints that she was feeling “sick and dizzy,” and claims that she was unable to hear several of Altman’s statements to her.