Woman arrested at Mar-A-Lago had cash, signal detector in hotel room, prosecutors say

A woman arrested at President Trump's Mar-A-Lago club last month had $8,000 in U.S. and Chinese currency in her hotel room as well as a signal detector meant to spot hidden cameras, a federal prosecutor in Florida said Monday.

Yujing Zhang, 32, was ordered held until her bond hearing resumes April 15 in West Palm Beach federal court. Zhang was arrested on March 30 and was charged with unlawfully entering a restricted area and making false statements to federal law enforcement.

Prosecutor Rolando Garcia told U.S. Magistrate Judge William Matthewman that the government was not making allegations of spying against Zhang at this time, but noted there are "a lot of questions that remain to be answered." Garcia claimed that Zhang would present a "serious risk of flight" if she were released while she awaits trial, as she has no ties to the United States. The State Department revoked her visa last week, he said, so even if she were released on bond, she would be detained by immigration officials. She arrived in the U.S. two days before her arrest on a flight from Shanghai to Newark, N. J.


Garcia told the judge that Zhang approached a checkpoint at the club and told a Secret Service agent that she wanted to use the pool, but was not wearing a bathing suit. She was carrying two Chinese passports, which she showed as identification.

Officials said Zhang made it past the checkpoint "due to a potential language barrier issue" after a club manager thought she was the daughter of a member with the same surname.

Once inside, Zhang allegedly told a front-desk clerk she was there for a nonexistent United Nations Chinese American Association event. After Secret Service agents were summoned, Zhang allegedly contradicted her earlier story by saying she had come early to the event to familiarize herself with the club and take photos. She showed the responding agent a Chinese-language invitation that he said he could not read.

The agent, Samuel Ivanovich, said Zhang was removed from the property and told she could not be there. She was arrested after Secret Service agents found her carrying four cellphones, an external hard drive and a thumb drive with computer malware installed.

Ivanovich told the judge that when an agency analyst uploaded the malware found on Zhang's thumb drive, it immediately began installing on the analyst's computer and corrupting its files.

"That was something that had never happened before," Ivanovich told the judge. He said the analyst immediately shut down the computer to protect it. He said the malware's ultimate purpose remains unknown. A source with knowledge of the investigation told Fox News that the thumb drive analysis was conducted on a standalone computer and the Secret Service's computer network was never at risk of malware introduction.


In addition to the cash, Garcia told Judge Matthewman that agents found a cell phone, several credit cards, nine USB drives and five USB cards in Zhang's room. The prosecutor added that the currency contradicted Zhang's claim to police that she had only $5,000 in a Wells Fargo bank account.

President Trump was staying at Mar-a-Lago on the weekend of Zhang's arrest but was not on the property at the time.

Fox News' John Roberts and Ivonne Amor and the Associated Press contributed to this report.