Prosecutors contend that Valladres was hired as “muscle” for the kidnapping.
Liao’s parents in China were sent demands for a $2 million ransom and ordered to deposit payment in Chinese bank accounts, according to court documents.
However, the money wasn’t paid, authorities said.
Liao was badly beaten and repeatedly shocked with a stun gun during the snatching. He was believed to have been held in a closet at a home in Corona and died the day after the kidnapping.
He was buried in the Mojave Desert. But his remains eventually were found and identified.
Also charged was Alexis Ivan Romero Velez, 25, of Azusa, the driver of the minivan. He pleaded guilty in 2019 to conspiracy to kidnap and awaits sentencing.
Two Chinese citizens who had been living in West Covina — Guangyao Yang, 28, and Peicheng Shen, 35 — are being held in China on charges filed there related to the kidnapping, the U.S. attorney’s office said.