Violinist Arrested After Allegedly Bilking Instrument Dealers

A violinist accused of bilking instrument collectors was arrested after performing Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 in a concert hall.

Federal agents arrested Joseph Hokai Tang, 28, on Nov. 28 in Eugene, Ore. The Ottawa native was enrolled as a graduate student at the University of Oregon.

Tang is charged in U.S. District Court in San Francisco with two counts of wire fraud and eight counts of mail fraud, according to an indictment made public Thursday. Each count carries a maximum of 20 years in prison.

According to authorities, from April 2002 through December 2006 Tang sold merchandise without paying the owner, lied about receiving instruments shipped to him, and sold different instruments than promised.

Information from: San Francisco Chronicle,

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-12-21-07 1402EST

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