Hsu associate, Winkle Paw missing
While we no longer need to worry about the whereabouts of the habitually slippery Norman Hsu, there's another central figure in this Democratic fundraising/investment fraud scandal that may have slithered away amid the sensational hubbub.Flip says Winkle is not wanted in California at this time. I am surprised he is not at least wanted for questioning by the FBI. It appears to me that he has much to explain. Since Hsu has told the FBI his operation was a massive fraud you would think that the FBI would be interested in those who participated in those operations. When the Wall Street Journal story first broke on the Paw family contributions which appeared to be beyond their means, Winkle insisted that all the contributions were with their own money, If that were the case, it would seem he would nave little reason to be avoiding questions. Hat tip to Clarice Feldman and Larwyn.
Winkle Paw, Hsu's most delightfully named associate, seems to have turned up missing.
According to campaign finance disclosures, Paw has served as everything from project analyst to CEO at a handful of Hsu's companies, including Components, Ltd., Next Components, Next Electronics, and CoolPowers (though that last one could've been a poor transcription of the word "Components" by a Tom Harkin campaign staffer). Paw was actually CEO of Next Components (one of those companies I couldn't seem to locate in my tour of Hsu's facilities) nearly two years before becoming a business analyst at the firm this summer, according to the filings, which is an interesting career trajectory.
In all, Winkle made more than $150,000 in political contributions to at least 40 Hsu-favored candidates and committees since 2004. 6 other members of the Paw family (all holed up in that cozy green house in Daly City) gave another $143,000. Khin Mon, who may or may not be related to the Paws (but who, as reported here first, also resides in the Paw house), gave another $12,000 over the same period.
In addition to Winkle Paw's association with Hsu-owned businesses, I'm told that Hsu reportedly indicated to Martin Waters (the manager of the Orange County investment fund that Hsu is now accused of defrauding out of $23 million) that he had designated Paw an authorized signatory on his bank account, such that their business dealings could continue should anything happen to Hsu. According to an individual with knowledge of the situation, the day before the San Mateo court appearance that Hsu would fail to make, Waters (still presuming Hsu's business dealings to be legitimate) offered to step into Hsu's... well, shoes during any period of incarceration that might follow. When Hsu balked, the fund manager reportedly told him he preferred to pull out of the pending deal under the circumstances, leading Hsu to threaten to lock him out of future deals in retribution.