Anthony Valladares, 28, was hired as ‘muscle’ when victim was abducted and held for US$2 million ransom, prosecutors say

Liao died of his injuries after being badly beaten and repeatedly shocked with stun gun

A Southern California man pleaded guilty on Thursday to conspiracy to kidnap a Chinese citizen who was held for ransom but died of his injuries after the abduction, authorities said.

Anthony Valladares, 28, of Pasadena entered the plea in connection with the 2018 kidnapping of Ruochen “Tony” Liao of Santa Ana from a Los Angeles-area shopping centre, according to a statement from the US attorney’s office.

Liao owned a Southern California showroom that sold high-end cars such as Porches and Bentleys.

Federal prosecutors contend that Valladares was hired as “muscle” when Liao was lured into a minivan in the car park of the mall in San Gabriel.

Liao’s parents in China were sent ransom demands for US$2 million and ordered to deposit payment in Chinese bank accounts, according to court documents.

However, the money was not paid, authorities said.

Liao was badly beaten and repeatedly shocked with a stun gun during the snatching.

He was believed to have been held in a closet at a home in Corona and died the day after the kidnapping and was buried in the Mojave Desert authorities said.

His remains were identified last year.

Valladares could face up to life in prison but under the plea agreement, prosecutors are recommending a sentence of 12 to 25 years, authorities said.

The minivan’s driver, Alexis Ivan Romero Velez, 24, of Azusa, pleaded guilty last month to conspiracy to kidnap and awaits sentencing.

Chinese nationals Guangyao Yang, 27, and Peicheng Shen, 34, who were living in suburban West Covina at the time of the kidnapping, are in custody in China on charges filed there related to the kidnapping.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Rome seagulls hunt rats, pigeons as coronavirus lockdown deprives them of human scraps

Amy Kellogg reports from Florence, Italy. Get all the latest news on coronavirus and more delivered daily to your inbox. Sign up here. The coronavirus lockdowns in Italy have forced seagulls to “return” to hunting live animals for food, according to…

As usage booms amid coronavirus crisis, Zoom’s R&D presence in China under scrutiny

Fox News Flash top headlines are here. Check out what’s clicking on Foxnews.com. Get all the latest news on coronavirus and more delivered daily to your inbox.  Sign up here. Zoom Video Communications, which is enjoying a boom in use…

Israel hopes Germany, other ICC members will help stave off Palestinian investigation

JERUSALEM/THE HAGUE (Reuters) – Israel’s prime minister on Sunday hailed what he called efforts by friendly states to stop the International Criminal Court opening an investigation into alleged war crimes against Palestinians. The court’s chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said in…

Bond actress Honor Blackman, who played Pussy Galore, dead at 94

1960s star shot to fame for role in Goldfinger, alongside Sean Connery. Her successful career also included theatre roles in productions such as The Sound Of Music, My Fair Lady and Cabaret Honor Blackman, one of most memorable co-stars of…