Two-Faced Woman

In search of the American Dream, thousands came to Big Sister Ping. The feds think she's a big crook

She has no visible halo, but the stocky, uneducated Chinese woman is a saint to thousands. For 13 years Cheng Chui-ping sold clothes and cheap eats along East Broadway in New York City's Chinatown. During lunch hours she would chop vegetables, wash dishes and wait on tables at a restaurant that served dishes from her native Fujian province. Occasionally she could be seen tottering down the street struggling with bales of clothes, dragging them into her general-merchandise store. But to many she was a veritable goddess, dispensing both mercy and fortune. Her devotees called her Dajie Ping--Big Sister Ping.

To the...

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