- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 23, 2014

SEATTLE (AP) - The chief executive officer of a China-based energy company pleaded guilty Tuesday to two counts of securities fraud.

Dickson Lee, head of L&L; Energy, pleaded to one count of reporting false information to the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission. He lied when he reported that the company had a chief financial officer when it did not, prosecutors said.

Lee, 66, also pleaded guilty to generating funds for the cash-strapped company by issuing hundreds of thousands of shares to people in China who then sold the shares on the market. At the time, his company was under investigation, but he withheld that fact, according to federal prosecutors.

L&L; Energy was involved in coal mining and coal distribution within the People’s Republic of China, but its headquarters was in Seattle.

Lee was arrested in March on a 10-count indictment after landing at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport from Taipei, Taiwan. He was held in custody after a judge ruled he was a flight risk.

In a plea agreement, he pleaded guilty to two of the 10 counts.

Lee could face up to 25 years in prison for each count at his sentencing, set for Jan. 9.

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