by Matthew Boyle 3 Apr 2014
An amnesty advocate that President Barack Obama’s White House publicly promoted as part of its “Champion of Change” series has been indicted in federal court on charges of fraud.
Bonnie M. Youn, who Obama’s White House touts on its website as “a recognized Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) community leader in Georgia,” was indicted on three criminal charge counts in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia Atlanta Division on April 1, according to publicly filed court documents.
The first indictment count alleges Youn committed perjury with regard to an alien illegally in the United States. The second indictment count alleges that Youn violated a federal immigration law that prohibits bringing illegal aliens into the United States and harboring them, alleging she did so “for the purpose of commercial advantage and private financial gain.” The third indictment count alleges Youn illegally tampered with witness testimony, specifically alleging she influenced the illegal alien—whose identity is kept anonymous in the indictment—to provide false information about employment in the United States to federal agents.
The indictment, signed by U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates and two Assistant U.S. Attorneys, indicates that Youn’s alleged illegal activity began “on or about February 9, 2009,” just as President Obama took office at the beginning of his first term and before she was honored by the White House. The third indictment count says that the alleged witness tampering began on or about August 15, 2011.
An arrest warrant was filed for Youn Tuesday.
Youn is listed on the White House “Champions of Change: Immigration Reform” website. That site, which along with a page specifically about her remains on WhiteHouse.gov after she was indicted on these criminal charges related to the White House’s honoring of her, states she was awarded the title for being like Cesar Chavez. “The White House honors eleven people who embody the spirit of Cesar Chavez’s legacy and commit themselves to working in their communities to advocate and organize around immigration-related issues,” the White House says on the website that features Youn.
Youn's bio on her WhiteHouse.gov page says she “has worked tirelessly to provide a voice for immigrants and AAPI communities.”
“She led teams that organized the 2013 Georgia AAPI Legislative Day, gathering the largest number of AAPIs in history at the State Capitol to meet and lobby elected officials,” the White House wrote. “In 2012, she worked closely with the White House Initiative on AAPIs to organize its Southeast Regional Action Summit at Emory University in Atlanta. The Summit brought together over 500 participants to meet federal agency officials, culminating in a town hall meeting discussing concerns about immigration, healthcare and mental health issues, small business, and housing needs. Her current passions are advocating for more AAPI judges and political appointees, challenging state legislation that disenfranchises immigrants, and creating a legacy of a sustainable AAPI Commission for Georgia.”
The White House also notes that Youn is a “principal” of her own law firm Youn Law Group.
According to a press release from the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), Youn received the White House honor from President Obama in late March 2013. “Today, the White House honored 10 individuals with the Cesar Chavez Champions of Change Award,” the press release, dated March 26, 2013, reads. “Among the 10 honorees is Bonnie M. Youn, who is a member of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA).”