SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — A Hayward man caught on camera spying for a Chinese intelligence agency has been linked to a Bay Area real estate scheme, federal prosecutors said.

Edward Peng is charged with giving classified information to Chinese officials through so-called “dead drops” at locations in Northern California and Georgia.


Federal officials say he is linked to a real estate scheme through his sister, who bought millions of dollars worth of Bay Area property with money wired from China.

WATCH: CBSN BAY AREA – KPIX 5 24/7 Digital News Channel

The suspicious purchases include four hotels: the Shree Ganeshai in San Francisco, the Red Lion in Oakland, the Country 17 Inn in Dixon and a bed and breakfast spot in Napa. The properties were bought for a total of nearly $20 million.

Authorities say Peng’s sister misrepresented the transactions to lenders and tax authorities. In most instances, the people who sent money from China did not receive ownership interests.