More tidbits of information are being gathered by an aroused press corps about former fugitive Democratic financier Norman Hsu that would seem to suggest some rather strange and significant connections in his past.
This Los Angeles Times piece provides the shockers of the day:
The most obvious red flag: A check of a commonly used database produces a 1990 San Francisco Chronicle news story detailing how Norman Hsu had been kidnapped by gang members in the San Mateo County suburb of Foster City. A second widely used database discloses that Norman Yuan Yuen Hsu of Foster City had a bankruptcy in 1990.
Having established that he lived in San Mateo County, a check of the San Mateo County Superior Court’s website reveals that Norman Yuan Yuen Hsu had a criminal case.
“Kidnapped by gang members…?” And he lived to tell the tale? What kind of gang? The Wall Street Journal fills in the details:
In 1990, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that a group of Chinatown gang leaders had been arrested for kidnapping Mr. Hsu. The article said the alleged kidnappers were stopped after speeding through a red light, and Mr. Hsu took the opportunity to tell police he was being kidnapped. The article said he owned a restaurant and clothing businesses throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Some of the Chinatown Triads have ties to legitimate Chinese businesses like the state owned China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO) which has a history with the People’s Liberation Army. COSCO has subsidiaries all over northern California and has been allegedly involved in smuggling arms to gangs here in the US.
I bring up COSCO because as an importer, Hsu would have been familiar with such a large shipping concern and may have even done business with them.
No doubt Hsu was extremely lucky if he really was being kidnapped. We can only speculate on the reason for his kidnapping but it could have had something to do with a refusal to pay “protection” or even a failure to hire a gang member to work at one of his businesses.
Or, Hsu himself could have been a member of a rival triad.
And the fact that Hsu claimed bankruptcy in 1990 and then emerges 2 years later as Managing Director of Newton Enterprises Ltd in Hong Kong is also rather amazing. As is the news that he evidently never made restitution to the investors he swindled:
In a separate matter, Mr. Hsu turned himself in at State Superior Court in California, where he faced three years in jail before vanishing in the early 1990s. Mr. Hsu had raised more than $1 million from investors to import latex gloves from Asia and resell them for a profit, according to Ronald Smetana, the deputy California attorney general who handled the case.
James Brosnahan, an attorney for Mr. Hsu, released a statement saying his client “has pledged to deal forthrightly with this 15-year-old legal issue” and “is having preliminary productive discussions with the Attorney General’s office.” He added that Mr. Hsu “is hopeful that the matter will be resolved shortly to everyone’s satisfaction.”
Mr. Brosnahan said the $2 million bail “can also be used for restitution to any persons who might still be unpaid.”
According to the article, there are at least a few investors swindled by Mr. Hsu who didn’t receive restitution. Along with his 1990 bankruptcy, one of the legitimate questions being asked by the Justice Department in their probe into Mr. Hsu’s activities must be where did he get the money? One would think that his assets were frozen as a result of the verdict in his criminal trial. Judging by the property he has owned in New York City since his return from Hong Kong, his fortune must be considerable. And while there is no doubt the “Managing Director” of an import company might receive a considerable salary, it is unlikely that it would have been enough to allow for the multi-million dollar property deals he cut upon his return to New York City.
For once, the smell of a good story has overridden the reluctance of the press to cover a Democratic party scandal. We’ll see how far they go when more information about Mr. Hsu is discovered.
Just noticed something strange in that Wall Street Journal account of Hsu’s kidnapping. The report from the San Francisco Chronicle apparently mentions “gang leaders” in the car that supposedly kidnapped Mr. Hsu.
Why would the leaders of gangs be cooperating in a kidnapping of some nobody? More bizarre yet, why would gang leaders be doing their own dirty work? One would think that the leaders of gangs would avoid taking on such tasks for the very reason they made the paper; the chance of getting caught.
This raises the possibility that Hsu was not being kidnapped at all but was being escorted to a gathering of some kind involving all of the Chinatown gangs. Could Hsu himself be one of those “gang leaders?”