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Fugitive extradited from Singapore to Oakland after 20 years

A woman who was a fugitive from federal authorities for 20 years appeared in court in Oakland for the first time after being extradited from Singapore, U.S. prosecutors said.

Voni Chen, now 57, of Taiwan and her father, Richard Chen, 87, were originally indicted in 2000 on mail fraud charges regarding their manufacturing business.

The pair submitted fake invoices to a credit company in order to receive more than $5 million in loan funds, federal prosecutors said.

Voni and Richard Chen both pleaded guilty to the charges in 2001 but failed to appear for their sentencing hearings in 2002.

Bench warrants were issued for their arrests, and the pair were fugitives for over 20 years until Singaporean officials alerted U.S. authorities that they were in Singapore and arrested them.

“Following the Chens’ consent to their extradition to the United States, the Singapore Minister for Law ordered both to be extradited,” prosecutors said.

Voni Chen was transported to the United States last week and made her first appearance in court Friday. Richard Chen is still awaiting transportation.

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