New Insights Into Founders Group International Lawsuit

July 7, 2017 5:02 AM
New Insights Into Founders Group International Lawsuit

(Pictured above, Dan Liu (left) and Nick Dou)

Investigation into the lawsuit filed in the 15th Judicial Circuit by Nick Dou against Dan Liu and three Chinese corporations over properties held collectively by Founders Group International continues to bring new revelations to the surface.

According to a source familiar with the lawsuit, Dan Liu was served locally with the lawsuit in recent days.

Liu’s peer to peer lending company, which did business in the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) under both its Mandarin name “Yiqian Funding” and its English name “Easy Richness”, raised the money that was used to buy golf courses and other property in Horry and Georgetown counties.

According to records in Horry County, Liu and Dou established approximately 16 limited liability corporations to hold the various properties purchased in Horry and Georgetown counties. Collectively, the llc’s are known locally as Founders Group International.

According to court documents, Dou holds 10 percent interest in Founders Group International and the associated llc’s. The three Chinese corporations, for which Liu acts as exclusive U.S. agent, hold the remaining 90 percent of the llc’s.

According to sources familiar with Yiqian Funding, the company raised a total of approximately 10 billion Yuan ($1.5 billion) from approximately 60,000 investors over a six year period. Estimates are that at least $300 million was taken out of the PRC for investment in the U.S.

Sources with knowledge of Yiqian said what was purchased was not really important to Liu. His main goal was getting the money beyond the borders of the PRC.

For that purpose, Liu established the three Chinese corporations, apparently nothing more than shell corporations, to receive the investor money from Yiqian Funding to use for purchases in the U.S.

Read more ›

It’s Working on Ocean Boulevard

July 5, 2017 11:15 AM
It’s Working on Ocean Boulevard

Myrtle Beach city officials are sticking with the phrase “It’s working” since putting up barricades and increasing police presence on Ocean Boulevard following shooting incidents in the past several months.

It’s just not clear what’s working.

The phrase was initially coined for a series of local ads by the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce attempting to justify the one cent tax for tourism promotion.

Now, “It’s working” has apparently entered the local lexicon of government officials to give vague answers about questionable initiatives.

The questionable initiatives are the barricades and uses of some police officers to perform duties other than patrolling the boulevard to prevent further acts of violence.

The only real effect seen from the barricades to date is to minimize foot traffic of potential customers to the many food and other commercial establishments in the heart of what used to be the busiest area of Ocean Boulevard.

Since the barricades were put in place two weeks ago, business owners in the area told Grand Strand Daily that their revenues are down 40-50 percent from previous years.

“It was Fourth of July weekend and it looked like a weekend in March,” said one business owner. “There is nobody around and our sales are way down.”

Several police jurisdictions have volunteered officers to Myrtle Beach for weekend help in patrolling the Boulevard. The idea is to increase police presence to discourage the types of violence seen just a few weeks ago.

However, several business owners report Myrtle Beach Police Department officers have been visiting their establishments to check on things like valid business licenses and look for minor discrepancies from Myrtle Beach ordinances.

Read more ›

Old and New Issues Surround Chuck Jordan Case

June 30, 2017 10:38 AM
Old and New Issues Surround Chuck Jordan Case

The recent arrest of Conway High School football coach Chuck Jordan for alleged assault and battery in the third degree on a student may have as much to do about 1989 issues as current ones.

According to sources familiar with the incident, Jordan was in his office when an altercation between the student involved and a substitute teacher erupted in a school hallway. Jordan reportedly responded to a request from someone who went to his office and said words to the effect ‘somebody needs to help.’

A section of the police report on the incident states Jordan “unlawfully and without just cause placed his hand on (student’s) neck and shoulder area.”

A key piece of evidence in the case is film from a security camera in Conway High School. According to sources who viewed the video, the student is moving toward Jordan who has his hands up and appears to be waving at someone on the side. A person moves in from the side and behind the student, attempting to pin the student’s arms to his side and drag him out a door. While this is being done, Jordan and the student are very close and Jordan’s hands appear to come in contact with the student in the student’s shoulder and neck area for a brief period.

Initial reports in local media quoted a family member of the student that Jordan choked the student and slammed him. Neither allegation is visible on the security video, according to sources who have viewed it.

The incident occurred on May 26, 2017. Jordan was arrested on June 8, 2017 by Conway police. The student was arrested for causing a disturbance in a school. The school district immediately placed Jordan on administrative leave.

According to sources familiar with the incident, the student and substitute teacher are both African American while Jordan is white. Race shouldn’t have anything to do with the issue but it may be a factor in the back story.

Read more ›

Records Reveal Different Picture of Founders Group International

June 28, 2017 1:40 PM
Records Reveal Different Picture of Founders Group International

When Nick Dou filed a lawsuit against Dan Liu and three Chinese corporations last week, he brought to light much more than one Chinese partner of Founders Group International, LLC suing other Chinese partners.

According to the lawsuit, Dou owns 10 percent of approximately 16 LLCs with one or more of three Chinese corporations owning the other 90 percent of each LLC. The parties primarily conducted business locally as Founders Group International, LLC.

Dan Liu appears not to have a direct ownership interest in any of the 16 LLCs, but rather acts as exclusive U.S. business agent for the three Chinese Corporations.

However, further research on business transactions involving one or more of the LLCs as well as the three Chinese corporations revealed that Liu now appears to hold mortgages on virtually all of the collective Founders Group International, LLC golf courses and development property in Horry and Georgetown counties.

Between February 2017 and May 2017, well over $100 million in promissory notes and mortgages were transferred to Dan Liu in a series of approximately 25 transactions recorded in Horry County.

Seventeen of the recorded transactions assigned promissory notes and mortgages from one or more of the three Chinese corporations for which Liu allegedly acted as exclusive U.S. agent to Liu. Papers for eleven of the transfers to Liu were signed on February 3, 2017 and recorded on February 10, 2017 and papers for the remaining six transfers were signed on April 28, 2017 and recorded on May 25, 2017.

The remaining transactions were preliminary assignment of promissory notes and mortgages so they could ultimately be assigned to Liu.

Read more ›

Chinese Fireworks Erupt Over Founders Group International, LLC

June 24, 2017 3:33 PM
Chinese Fireworks Erupt Over Founders Group International, LLC

Fireworks have erupted between the two Chinese principal owners of Founders Group International, LLC (FGI) as Nick Dou, one owner of the corporation, filed suit against Dan Liu, the other owner of the corporation, and three Chinese corporations Liu allegedly acts as exclusive agent for, in 15th Judicial Circuit Court on June 22, 2017.

According to the complaint, case number 2017-CP-2603932, Dou alleges Liu was stripping assets out of the corporation for personal and other uses. The suit alleges breach of contract, fraud and conversion by Liu.

Additionally, Dou asks for a full accounting of corporate assets as well as a temporary restraining order directing Liu “shall not divert, remove, alienate, convert, encumber or otherwise manipulate any corporate assets of FGI or any of the other FGI Entities for his personal use or benefit, until such time as the claims raised in this action have either been resolved by this Court, settled and/or withdrawn by the Parties to this action…”

The filing also states, “Plaintiff Nick Dou is informed and believes that the assets and property of FGI and the affiliated FGI Entities are at grave risk and danger of loss, and of material injury and impairment, at the hands of Defendant Dan Liu, if such property and assets are left under the exclusive control of Defendant Dan Liu.”

Dou asks the Court to “exercise its authority pursuant to S.C. Code Section 15-65-10, et seq., and immediately appoint a receiver over the property, assets, and operation of FGI and the affiliated FGI Entities.”

The three Chinese corporations named as co-defendants with Liu are: Jiangsu Tianru Danfo Commerce and Industry Co., Ltd., Nanjing Shuojun Trade and Industry Co. and Nanjing Xinyuanyuan Commerce and Trade Co., Ltd.

According to the complaint, all three corporations are organized and existing under the laws of the Peoples Republic of China and none of the three corporations have been “admitted to or authorized to conduct business in South Carolina.”

Read more ›

Myrtle Beach City Council Hears Frustrations and Possible Solutions to Recent Violence

June 21, 2017 8:55 AM
Myrtle Beach City Council Hears Frustrations and Possible Solutions to Recent Violence

Myrtle Beach City Council hosted a raucous special meeting Tuesday with home and business owners voicing their outrage at recent shooting incidents on Ocean Boulevard and in other parts of the city.

It was a good move by city council, allowing the meeting to act as a pressure valve relieving some of the pent up frustration felt by citizens by having it voiced directly to council and city staff in a public forum.

That frustration ran from blaming city officials for ignoring the city’s problems and threatening defeat of the four incumbent council members up for reelection in November to calling for martial law to be declared in the city.

Many of the comments were rough and pointed, one citizen even asking John Rhodes if he would immediately resign as mayor. However, council took the criticism stoically because solutions are more important at this point than verbal jousting contests.

While many of the comments fell short of suggesting solutions for the violence problems in the city, several were on point.

Several citizens suggested using money from the one cent local option ‘tourism development fee’ (ad tax) to fund more police officers.

Former Mayor Mark McBride was most forceful in this line of thinking noting that the city’s police force had not expanded since he left office at the end of 2005.

To be fair, the city has installed over 800 cameras that are constantly monitored to help with public safety response and were very helpful during this past weekend’s incidents.

McBride called for 50 percent, approximately $10 million, to be redirected from the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce’s out of area advertising to funding additional police officers as well as providing raises for current officers.

Read more ›

Smokescreen on Myrtle Beach Family Friendly Zone

June 16, 2017 12:23 PM
Smokescreen on Myrtle Beach Family Friendly Zone

Myrtle Beach city council and staff are apparently engaging in an elaborate smokescreen to mask the real reason behind the proposed family friendly zoning for Ocean Boulevard.

When council passed first reading of the ordinance establishing a family friendly zone on the boulevard between 16th Avenue North and 6th Avenue South the reason given was to make the boulevard safer.

It seems, according to the party line, that selling t-shirts and other novelty items with ‘suggestive’ phrases on them and the sale of hookahs and knives caused the spate of shootings which have become all too common on Ocean Boulevard.

It doesn’t seem to make any difference that all these items are sold legally and, in fact, have been sold for many years in many other areas of Myrtle Beach including other sections of the boulevard and in Coastal Grand Mall. For some reason, they only have this strange effect between 16th Avenue North and 6th Avenue South.

If you believe that one, I know of a bridge in Brooklyn for sale.

This action appears to fit into a bigger plan that has been talked about for decades. I submit this is the second step in a larger plan that began when the city used a ‘secret agent’ to buy up land in the superblock and now plans to use eminent domain to obtain the last several parcels that it couldn’t get secretly.

It is interesting to note that despite much talk about a new location for the Children’s Museum and Chapin Memorial Library, no money exists in the city budget to build such a structure.

It appears that this attempt to harass business owners in the proposed family friendly zone may well be nothing more than an attempt to create more empty buildings that can be bought, either secretly or overtly, at reduced prices by the city.

Read more ›

Horry County Council Keeps Circus Alive

June 9, 2017 5:06 AM
Horry County Council Keeps Circus Alive

“The Greatest Show on Earth” closed last month after 146 years of performances, but the circus remains alive and well among Horry County Council members.

Unfortunately for members, Horry County Council meetings will never be known as “The Greatest Show on Earth”. But, they may well be ranked high among the weirdest shows in politics.

Considering the dysfunctional mess that passes for federal government in Washington, D.C., that is not a ranking to be proud of.

Tuesday’s regular meeting of Horry County Council saw council members jumping through hoops to avoid making what seems an obvious decision regarding the Horry County Solid Waste Authority board.

The show apparently allowed the candidacy of Norfleet Jones for reappointment to the SWA board to remain alive for a little longer.

Jones served two consecutive terms on the SWA board from 2004-2012. After a one year hiatus, Jones was reappointed to the SWA board in 2013 for another four year term and is now seeking reappointment.

According to Horry County Attorney Arrigo Carotti, Jones was illegally appointed to the authority board in 2013 because he only had the one year hiatus, after serving two consecutive terms on the board, instead of the at least two years required by Horry County ordinance.

According to Carotti, Jones is not eligible for reappointment since his current board term appointment was not made in accordance with Horry County law.

That explanation should have made the appointment of Sam Johnson, the other candidate for appointment to the SWA board, a slam dunk.

Instead, council members chose to go through a convoluted debate that ended with a motion to defer the vote.

Read more ›

Talking Politics on the Grand Strand

June 2, 2017 6:19 AM
Talking Politics on the Grand Strand

Talking Politics, a new political talk show, was introduced on the Grand Strand this week.

Co-hosted by Paul Gable and John Bonsignor and produced by CarolinaPolitics.org, the show will travel to locations around the Grand Strand to speak with political leaders and others involved in the most important and high profile issues of the day.

Click on the arrow below to view a discussion with Myrtle Beach City Council member Randal Wallace about issues such as eminent domain use by the city, the current discussions between city government and the oceanfront merchants and the Tourism Development Fee, otherwise known as the one-cent local option sales tax for tourism marketing.

Click on read full story to view the video.

Read more ›

Lessons From Atlantic Beach Bikefest

May 26, 2017 4:38 AM
Lessons From Atlantic Beach Bikefest

Atlantic Beach Bikefest time has come again and Myrtle Beach is in its usual frenzy.

Hundreds of thousands of visitors will be on the Grand Strand this Memorial Day Weekend to attend the Bikefest and related activities.

However, rather than appreciating the tourists that come to spend their hard earned dollars, the city treats this weekend like an invasion by ISIS.

Downtown Myrtle Beach looks like a third world Banana Republic for most of Memorial Day weekend with police, many in commando style gear, on every corner.

But, most of the people in town for the weekend are tourists who come to have a good time.

That’s the lesson that is escaping our supposed government leaders. The events of 2014, which gained national headlines for Myrtle Beach, were caused by a small group who weren’t here to have a good time. They were troublemakers and they caused trouble.

I saw the same thing 45 years ago when I was stationed in Scotland and used to go to soccer matches (especially ones like Rangers v. Celtic or Scotland v. England).

Many headlines the next day were about the “soccer hooligans” and the mayhem they caused. But, the overwhelming percentage of the crowd was there to support the respective teams.

And they were surprised by the “Yank” in their midst and very friendly to him.

The real lesson from Atlantic Beach Bikefest is that most of the people who come here want to have a good time and spend money. That’s what a tourist town is all about and presumably why over $31 million taxpayer dollars are spent on the advertising campaigns of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce.

Read more ›