Li “Cindy” Yang, the former owner of a chain of Florida day spas named in a human trafficking investigation, reportedly helped Trump’s Mar-a-Lago sell tickets to replacement galas when several events at the resort were canceled after the president said there “very fine people on both sides” at the 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville. According to The Miami Herald, Yang promoted Mar-a-Lago galas after numerous U.S. clients canceled their events, taking tickets that the Florida club struggled to sell and turning them over to her foreign clients—who sought access to U.S. government officials.
On her website, Yang said she took “elites from various places” in Asia and other regions to Mar-a-Lago events to hob-knob with major figures. Yang’s services reportedly caught the eye of Dr. Charles Lee, an “event bundler” who sold U.S. political access to his Chinese clients. On Lee’s website, he repeatedly claimed his “travel packages” were intended to “promote Chinese President Xi Jinping’s 2015 business diplomacy agenda” and the Chinese Communist Party. The newspaper reports that Yang and Lee brought over 20 clients to Mar-a-Lago in 2018 alone. Yang’s attorney told the Herald that his client was a “committed volunteer,” which may have led to “extreme assumptions” being made about her. Lee reportedly denied knowing Yang in an interview with the newspaper.