UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

May 8, 2009

HILLARY PAL PLEADS GUILTY TO PONZI SCHEME

NY Daily News - Hillary Clinton fund-raiser Norman Hsu pleaded guilty Thursday to swindling investors out of $20 million while touting his inside access to Democratic Party big shots.

But Hsu, 58, did not admit to another charge: violating campaign finance laws by making contributions in other people's names. Hsu's lawyer Alan Seidler said his client wants to convince a jury he never reimbursed investors who wrote checks to his pet Democrats.

"He says he didn't do it," Seidler told reporters. "He just says it's a matter of principle."

Hsu will go to trial Monday in Manhattan Federal Court. Seidler said Hsu never expected anything from the pols he solicited, but wanted to be viewed as part of the club.

Prosecutors said witnesses will say Hsu played them phone messages from pols thanking him for his support to convince them of his inside access.

"The defendant was showered with attention by political candidates because of the amount of money he brought in," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine Lemire.

Investors felt more comfortable investing with Hsu when they learned about his political ties, Lemire said. Clinton returned more than $800,000 in contributions linked to Hsu after the massive Ponzi scheme crumbled.

Hsu faces 200 years in prison.

WIKIPEDIA - Norman Yung Yuen Hsu (pronounced "shoo") is an American businessman in the apparel industry and a major donor to the Democratic Party and Democratic causes. Hsu came to prominence after suspicious patterns of bundled contributions were reported in 2007. . .

Starting in 1989, Hsu raised $1 million from investors to launch a latex glove business. Some of these partners invested their life savings or mortgaged their homes, and some sued Hsu when it appeared their money was lost. In 1990, Hsu, then living in Foster City, California, declared a bankruptcy, stating that he was practically destitute, with no job, no income, and few possessions other than an SUV and a ring. That same year, he was also divorced as well as allegedly kidnapped by San Francisco Triad society gang leader Raymond Chow.

In 1991, California authorities brought fraud charges against him, describing his operation as a Ponzi scheme. Specifically, authorities claimed Hsu had not engaged in any legitimate business activity, but instead was using funds from later investors to pay returns to earlier ones. In February 1992 Hsu plead no contest to one count of grand theft and agreed to serve up to three years in prison and pay a $10,000 fine. Hsu subsequently failed to appear at the sentencing hearing and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Starting in 2003, Hsu began contributing to, and collecting contributions for, the Democratic Party, although he did not join the party and was not registered to vote. He also donated to causes such as the Innocence Project and Clinton Global Initiative. . . By 2007, Hsu's status within Hillary Rodham Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign had risen to the level where he was a "HillRaiser," someone who had "bundled" more than $100,000 for her campaign, and to where he co-hosted a $1 million fundraiser at wealthy Democratic Party supporter Ron Burkle's Beverly Hills estate, and in September, he was scheduled to co-host a major gala fundraising event featuring music legend Quincy Jones.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"latex glove business"? Is that to facilitate the coming mandatory body cavity searches?

May 11, 2009 8:56 AM  

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