Politics

Chinese trespasser at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort sentenced to 8 months in jail

Key Points
  • A Chinese businesswoman convicted of trespassing at President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort while carrying a bag full of electronics is sentenced to eight months in jail.
  • Yujing Zhang, a 33-year-old Shanghai business consultant, was arrested on March 30 and charged with unlawfully entering Trump's Mar-a-Lago club and lying to federal agents.
  • She was convicted on both counts by a 12-member jury in Florida federal court in September, following a brief but unusual trial.
In this April 15, 2019, file court sketch, Yujing Zhang, left, a Chinese woman charged with lying to illegally enter President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago club, listens to a hearing before Magistrate Judge William Matthewman in West Palm Beach, Fla.
Daniel Pontet | AP

A Chinese businesswoman convicted of trespassing at President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort while carrying a bag full of electronics was sentenced Monday to eight months in jail.

Florida federal Judge Roy Altman also ordered Yujing Zhang, a 33-year-old Shanghai business consultant, to be deported after her jail sentence is complete.

Federal prosecutors wanted Altman to give Zhang 18 months behind bars.

Zhang was arrested on March 30 and charged with unlawfully entering the Palm Beach club and lying to federal agents. She faced a maximum possible sentence of six years in prison.

She was convicted on both counts by a 12-member jury in September, following a brief but unusual trial. Zhang had acted as her own attorney, defying the judge's advice, and reportedly struggled with the English language during the proceedings.

Zhang had made it past at least five Secret Service agents and into the main reception area of Mar-a-Lago before she was intercepted by officers, according to the criminal complaint against her.

At the time of the incident, Trump was playing golf at the Trump International course nearby.

She was found to be carrying four mobile phones, a laptop computer, an external hard drive, and a thumb drive that "contained malicious software," the complaint said. More electronics were found in her hotel room, along with about $8,000 in cash, according to the complaint.

Zhang's bundle of tech products bred speculation that the Chinese national may be a foreign spy. She was never charged with espionage.

VIDEO2:4702:47
President Trump reverses decision to hold 2020 G-7 Summit at Doral resort

-- The Associated Press contributed to this report.