Mystery money man Norman Hsu appears to be even more mysterious as each day passes. On top of the outstanding bench warrant and the murky financial dealings, there appear to be multiple odd missing portions of his history. There also appears to be no visible means of him obtaining the large sums of cash he has funneled to Democrats. This is getting somewhat ugly – and the Los Angeles Times appears to be bulldogging the story, surprisingly.
WASHINGTON — Money has brought both trappings and trouble for Norman Hsu. Major contributions to the campaigns of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and other candidates have made the apparel executive an insider in elite political circles. He shows up in cozy pictures with politicians, at lavish fundraising events, and on the boards of prestigious organizations.
But Hsu's history includes more unsavory episodes and associations. In 1990, he allegedly was kidnapped by Chinese gang members in San Francisco as part of an apparent effort to collect a debt. A year and a half later, he pleaded no contest to a charge of fleecing investors in what authorities called a Ponzi scheme of fraud. Along the way, he left a bankruptcy filing and bitter investors who accused him of making off with their savings.
Hsu is now at the center of a political scandal, with Sen. Clinton (D-N.Y.) and others rushing to return his contributions and sever embarrassing ties to a man still wanted on an outstanding warrant for the fraud case in California. Hsu could turn himself in as early as today in San Mateo County, where a hearing on the matter has been scheduled………
…….Hsu's Washington-based attorney, E. Lawrence Barcella Jr., said Hsu was in Hong Kong from 1992 to 1996. Barcella said Hsu did not remember pleading to a criminal charge that included jail time and thought he had agreed to a settlement with creditors. At the time, Hsu was going through a separate bankruptcy proceeding.
Hsu has not responded to requests for an interview. Barcella said Hsu returned to California in 1996 and made a series of successful investments in Silicon Valley — which accounts for Hsu's ability to contribute so heavily to Democratic causes in recent years, Barcella said. Hsu also continued to be involved in the apparel business, Barcella said.
But details about Hsu's activities since 1996 are elusive. Unlike in the 1980s, when Hsu's name appeared in a flurry of business and court records, there is scant evidence that he was actively launching businesses or making contributions to politicians.
At some point, Hsu began spending at least part of his time in New York City, where he appears to have pursued a private yet lavish lifestyle.
Hsu was affiliated with two businesses — Components Ltd. and Coopgors Ltd. — that have listed addresses on Fifth Avenue. But the building actually houses luxury apartments, not commercial offices, according to a doorman, who has worked there for the last 15 years. The doorman said Hsu lived in the building for a few years but moved out about four years ago.
(Do read the whole thing, there is even a kidnapping.) How does a man with no apparent means of support give a million dollars to Democratic politicians? Where is Hsu's wealth coming from? These are very serious questions that really need to be answered. And shouldn't the government be taking an interest to see if Mr. Hsu has been paying taxes on what appears to be a very hefty income – from somewhere? Jim at Gateway Pundit has been collecting a lot of interesting blog coverage about Mr. Hsu – who's name has turned up in some ugly places.