A Palo Alto husband and wife have been charged in federal court in San Jose with defrauding a computer networking company by submitting more than $80,000 worth of false claims for rebates, federal prosecutors announced today. U.S. Attorney Joseph Russoniello said Sheng Qiang, also known as Becky Qiang, was arrested at her Palo Alto home on July 24.She was arraigned before a federal magistrate that day and pleaded not guilty to 25 fraud and money laundering counts in a previously sealed grand jury indictment issued on July 15. The indictment was unsealed after her arrest. Qiang’s husband, Yezhou Zhao, also known as Jack Zhao or Jake Chao, is a fugitive and is being sought by federal authorities, Russoniello said. Qiang and Zhao are accused of submitting 11 false claims totaling more than $80,000 to 3Com Corp., a computer networking equipment maker,between 2003 and 2008 under the company’s Trade-Up program.The program gave customers a 15 percent rebate when they replaced old equipment with new 3Com computer parts. At the time, the couple lived in Milpitas, the indictment said.Qiang and Zhao allegedly created fraudulent invoices, sent the rebate requests to 3Com under phony company names, established private mailbox addresses to receive the rebates, and deposited the checks in bank accounts under the phony company names, according to the indictment.The two are also accused of laundering proceeds of the alleged scheme by transferring rebate money to accounts they controlled in Hong Kong and the People’s Republic of China. They face one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, 11 counts of mail fraud, one count of conspiracy to launder money and 12 counts of money laundering. Prosecutors are also seeking forfeiture of their alleged proceeds. The charges each carry possible maximum sentences ranging from five to 20 years in prison, but the actual penalty, if the defendants on convicted, would be determined after consideration of federal sentencing guidelines. Qiang was granted release by a magistrate on Wednesday on a $500,000 bond and is due to appear before U.S. District Judge Ronald Whyte on Aug. 24 for a hearing on the next steps in the case.