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September 7, 2007
Here's Hsu! (consolidated post)
It's no longer a question of "Where is Hsu." The fugitive Democratic party fat cat fund raiser was arrested in Grand Junction, Colorado after being taken off a train after complaining of feeling ill:
Authorities said Hsu was taken into custody at St. Mary's Hospital in Grand Junction at 7 p.m. local time. He had been on the lam for almost two days after failing to appear in a Redwood City courtroom Wednesday to surrender his passport.Will our little Hsu bird sing?
Authorities plan on dropping the federal flight from prosecution charge upon Hsu's return to California. Not quite sure why they would do that. One would think they could hold those charges over his head in order to get him to cooperate in the fundraising probe.
There are still the state charges, of course. But using those as leverage depends on cooperation by the California authorities. Just how eager are they to get to the bottom of Mr. Hsu's fundraising activities on behalf of Democratic candidates?
Meanwhile, some answers have been forthcoming about his sources of funding - maybe:
Facts about Hsu are hard to come by. Twenty-year-old clippings from apparel industry publications say he was born and raised in Hong Kong and arrived in the United States in 1969 to attend the University of California at Berkeley. The computer science major went to the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School for an MBA. In 1982, with a group of Hong Kong-based partners, he formed Lavano Sportswear. The business went bankrupt.Nice business pedigree. And that raises the question of why a Wharton MBA graduate would start a ponzi scheme to defraud dozens of investors? Where did he get the money to invest in clothing ventures here in the US upon his return?
The feds are not through with Mr. Hsu, not by a long shot.
Hat Tip: Ed Lasky
Update consolidating a near-simultaneous post by Thomas Lifson:
Even more disturbing than the ease with which Norman Hsu evaded capture on Amtrak is the news that the FBI is dropping the federal charges against him:
Why? The man has engaged in interstate travel, may possibly be involved in espionage, and should have been under FBI surveillance in the first place.
The FBI's fabled prowess has lost more luster. Is their dragnet so porous that long distance trains aren't even checked? There aren't that many long distance trains leaving the Bay Area each day (two, I believe, in fact). Maybe the old joke about entering the witness protection program by getting an MSNBC show needs updating with a reference to Amtrak. Riding the rails obviously grants a degree of invisibility from law enforcement these days that would make Roger O. Thornhill, the character played by Cary Grant in North by Northwest, green with envy (although there is no evidence Eva Marie Saint was enlivening Hsu's journey). At least Amtrak has discovered a new market for its money-losing long distance trains: fugitives and terrorists.
Could Osama bin Laden be riding the Amtrak rails and evading capture?
Hat tip: Clarice Feldman