In an article titled "Arcadia Councilman John Wuo resigns on heels of lawsuit," penned by the Pasadena Star News reporter Courtney Tompkins, Wuo's explosive legal debacle was described this way (link):
Arcadia Councilman John Wuo has resigned, city officials announced during the council meeting Tuesday. In a letter read by Mayor Gary Kovacic, Wuo cited health and personal reasons for his resignation. Wuo had served on the council for 12 years, including as mayor for three terms. The resignation comes at a time of intense scrutiny for Wuo, whom the Fair Political Practices Commission is investigating for alleged violations of the Political Reform Act, a spokesman confirmed Monday. A complaint filed by Arcadia resident David Arvizu prompted the investigation into alleged violations of the act’s statement of economic interests disclosure requirements as well as the prohibitions regarding conflict of interest.
In addition, a class action lawsuit was filed alleging Wuo helped to defraud investors in a $32 million “pyramid scheme.”
An attorney filed the lawsuit on behalf of U.S. and Chinese investors who were allegedly bilked by Arcadia-based business US Fine Investment Arts, Inc. (USFIA). The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, names 10 defendants, including USFIA, the firm’s CEO Steve Chen and Wuo, who has been under scrutiny for his public endorsement of Chen, USFIA and Gemcoin, a cryptocurrency at the center of the alleged scheme.
“In one particular video clip of Wuo (at a USFIA marketing event,) the first thing he said to the crowd was ‘I am the mayor of Arcadia,’ so obviously that’s important,” Attorney Long Z. Liu said of Wuo’s inclusion in the lawsuit. “Especially to investors in China because if a business is publicly endorsed by a government official, not only is the business legitimate, but the business will make a lot of money.”
Among the complaints lodged against the defendants is fraud, negligence, breach of contract and civil R.I.C.O, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, according to the document. Liu said he is seeking a minimum of $100 million in damages. The plaintiff has requested anonymity after allegedly receiving threats on his or her life, Liu said.
Not the prettiest situation for anyone to find themselves in, and perhaps vanishing from public view was not the worst thing for John Wuo to do. Any public figure facing these kinds of allegations might choose to do the same. And search as we might for any indication of his whereabouts, we here at The Tattler, among the very first online news entities to break the Johnny GemCoins story, could not find that dude anywhere.
That is, until now. Welcome to CHINAWEEK 2016.
So what is CHINAWEEK you ask? Good question. Here is how they were happy to describe themselves (link):
CHINAWEEK is an annual, week-long series of events designed to bring the most current, relevant, multidisciplinary information about China and Chinese culture to the western world via Los Angeles, the natural US gateway to China.
In cooperation with prominent local organizations, the private sector, NGO’s, governmental agencies and their equivalents in China, CHINAWEEK events will take place throughout the greater Los Angeles region from May 7-14, 2016 across nine sectors including: arts and culture, business, education, entertainment, environment, public affairs, science and technology, tourism, and philanthropy.
CHINAWEEK is programming, marketing, and promoting the events, which will be presented by partnering organizations such as The Getty, the Milken Institute, Governor Brown’s Office of Business and Economic Development, USC Pacific Asia Museum, local civic and trade organizations, independent galleries and restaurants.
Pretty impressive, right? And with such platinum level names as California Governor Jerry Brown and The Getty to drop on our heads, you can certainly see that this is a first rank cultural event for the City of Los Angeles. Multidisciplinary, too! That is so vibrant.
So imagine our surprise and delight yesterday at finding this first indication of the continuing political existence of John Wuo anywhere since October of 2015. Here is how he is listed on the CHINAWEEK website:
Honorary Board sounds pretty important, right? It can be assumed that when you're in with the likes of Michael Antonovich, a guy with more kiddy parks and jogging trails named after him than any other Los Angeles County politician in recent memory, you're running with the big dogs. Obviously this is a recognition meant for people the CHINAWEEK organizers believe are very important, and will help dress up any dais or dinner event.
But wait, there's more. And yes, it is another GemCoins related revelation. Listed under the rubric "Our Team," and identified as the Advisory Board for CHINAWEEK 2016 (though our person of interest here is a member of the Executive Board as well), are the following individuals.
The person we are focusing on from the above list of worthies is Kim Holland, who is listed here as both an Executive Board and Advisory Board Member for CHINAWEEK. Kim apparently did some work with the USFIA, that now less than celebrated former corporate home for GemCoins and its controversial founder, Steve "The Amberman" Chen.
So you know, Steve Chen is currently under rather intense investigation by the SEC and hasn't been getting out much lately, either (link).
Here are two screen shots from a GemCoins event that took place in 2015. Apparently the momentarily happy suckers pictured below waving their big keys in the air were being given Mercedes Benzes because they bought a boatload of utterly worthless GemCoins. Which were at that time believed to be backed by amber mines, but were not really.
Kim Holland is the blond lady on the far left. On the right sporting a snappy bowtie is none other Leonard Johnson, who was an executive at USFIA, the Arcadia-based worldwide corporate home of the GemCoin. Haven't seen too much of him lately, either. In the middle? Johnny "GemCoins" Wuo himself.
Here is another picture. This was apparently taken just before the six GemCoin chumps were called up to the stage to receive their big cardboard keys.
It was nothing but good times from the Alliance Financial Group and their well-turned out GemCoin program presenters that day. And now it is all over.
Here is some info about Kim Foster from a website called Foster Dreams ("Get Active. Connect With Nature. Dream …"). Link here.
We will have more news on this matter as it becomes available.