“I am fighting against authorities”: Weizhen Tang
Do all those facing fraud charges maintain their innocence? Do they believe that they were wrongly accused by the authorities, and are treated unfairly in the so-called open democratic society?
当FBI 调查员出现于Bernie Madoff（马道夫）住所逮捕他之前，他向两个儿子承认其投资者所获资金并非属其所有，并承认实施了庞氏骗局。他向调查员表示：“他无法解释自己自己为什么要这么干。”
Before FBI agents showed up at Bernie Madoff’s apartment to arrest him, he confessed to his sons that his business was merely a giant Ponzi scheme, as he paid investors money that wasn’t theirs. “There wasn’t any innocent explanation,” said Madoff to FBI agents.
But Weizhen Tang – the alleged Toronto’s own Bernie Madoff, is distinct and seems to deviate from all others who have been charged. Not only has he proclaimed his innocence, refuting the fraud charges and providing explanations for the financial loss incurred by his investors, he was even sought to run for mayor and to become OSC chairman while facing fraud charges.
唐对此慷慨陈词：“我与浪费挥霍投资者资金的马道夫不同，我是一心帮助投资者赚钱……他们的投资是丢给了金融风暴。证监会和警方是在浪费纳税人的资金，他们根本无法查出任何欺诈行为的证据， 我没有实施庞氏骗局，也没有欺诈。相反， 我是一名成功的企业家，是一名市长参选者…….自我竞选市长以来，我赢回了投资者和大众的信任和支持。”
“Rather than embezzling and squandering investors’ money like Madoff, I was helping my investors to make money…The investors’ money lost to the financial tsunami. The OSC and the police wasted millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money on my case, but are unable to uncover fraud in any of my actions — no Ponzi scheme, no deception, ” said Tang. “On the contrary to those charges, I am a successful entrepreneur and became a mayoral candidate for Toronto… Resulting from my running for mayor, I gained back the trust and support of investors and general public.”
The seemingly egotistical Tang constantly bragged about his ability to raise a stunning amount of $60 million dollars from investors.
“No one in Canada, including financial institutions is able to raise funds to this extent. …. I am a financial entrepreneur, and also a world famous hedge fund manager and portfolio manager… That is why I was running for Mayor… The fund of $60 million was raised legally, as hedge fund investments are not regulated by the OSC and not required to register.”
Living in poverty
11月份的多伦多虽略带凉意却分外美丽。唐在一个下午于他家附近的一家Harvey’s连锁店接受我的采访。身着Harry Rosen西装的唐，花白的头发梳于一侧，看起来精神不错，与2010年3月我到多伦多Don Jail监狱造访他时留下的形容枯槁并且疲惫不堪的形象相比，几乎判若两人。
On a beautiful November afternoon, Tang sat with me at a Harvey’s chain restaurant near his home for an interview. Dressed in a Harry Rosen suit, Tang, with his salt-and-pepper hair gathering on the side, looked energetic and in good shape, a sharp contrast with the haggard and tired image he left me in Don Jail, when I visited him in early March of 2010.
Only that his eyes looked more sunken and cheeks more hollow than a year earlier – attesting to an out-of-jail life in poverty and stress.
“I was denied the opportunity to invest for my clients, and I was even held in Don Jail for no reason whatsoever. How could a government fight an innocent person like me? How could such evils flourish in an open, democratic society?” said Tang, cheeks flushed with the anger and frustration towards the Canadian legal system, which he claimed has destroyed his image, his securities trading business and his family.
After the OSC issued a temporary cease trade order against Tang in Mar. 2009, Tang was charged 3 months later with 11 counts of offences by the OSC, and in Nov., a criminal charge of fraud over $5000 was laid by the Toronto Police.
“These charges are ridiculous and have caused me to suffer an unfair, inhumane, illegal and vindictive punishment,” said Tang, with flames in his eyes. “It was, and is, a Kafka-esque nightmare for me, my clients, my community, and my family.”
Boasting himself as the “Chinese Warren Buffett”, Tang hates to be referred to as “Toronto’s Madoff”.
“I’m no Madoff who lived a lavish lifestyle using investors’ money, while I’ve lived a simple life. I didn’t take their money, but instead handed over my own money to pay them back.”
Tang said that his current living standard is below the poverty line – without a job to make income but carrying a heavy mortgage from the bank, he relies on welfare, some rental income and the support from his adult daughter in Hong Kong to make a living.
“I’ve got used to this type of lifestyle… The good thing is that I’ve never lived a luxury life,” said Tang.
Where did the raised funds go?
Tang says he made repayments to investors by coughing up funds from his own coffer – including his home mortgages and the bonuses offered to him by a client.
“I once made $5 million — 500% profits for one of my clients by trading for account at IB, who offered me $1.2 million as bonuses, but I forked out that money to investors in Jan. 2009.
“I also took out $200,000 from my home mortgage, which was included in the funds of $440,000 frozen by the OSC.”
但是即便唐再列举自己所做的善事，也很难从他的那些把血汗钱丢得一干二净的投资者那里赢得任何同情和感激。唐所收到的民事诉讼案从未间断。今年8月份，多伦多律师事务所Rochon Genova LLP代表唐的前投资者对唐发起集体诉讼。
But Tang’s claim of his good deeds could hardly earn any sympathy and gratitude from his investors who lost their hard earned investments and are suing over the missing funds. Tang has been hit by waves of civil lawsuits – including the class action suit filed by a Toronto law firm Rochon Genova LLP in Aug.
But Tang shows nothing but contempt towards the lawsuits against him. “They could hardly make out anything from it,” said Tang, leaning against his seat and smirking. “No money left in any of the accounts whatsoever, and they are wasting their time.”
But where did the investors’ funds go?
According to the report “Source and Application of Fund Analysis”, issued by an OSC senior forensic accountant in 2010, Tang’s Overseas Chinese Fund Limited Partnership received $52 million from Canadian and U.S. clients, about $27 million was disbursed to clients and spent on other investments, and about $19 million was lost in forex trading.
该报告为唐的数个公司的资金流向进行了分析，据该报告，唐和他的公司从Overseas Fund收到资金约$2800万元，其中$39万元用于支付公司开支，$14.7万元用于做广告，$1.8万元用于办公室租金，1.4万元捐赠给中国总领馆，$39.6万元用于支付唐及其同事的工资，$16.7万元用于支付唐妻子的信用卡账单，包括餐费、度假、电子产品、Holt Renfrew 和Harry Rosen的服装等。
The report, which provides a fund flow analysis on Tang’s several companies, indicates that Tang and his companies received about $2.8 million from Overseas Fund, among which $390K was spent on corporate expenses, $147K on advertising, $18K spent on office rent, $14K was donated to the Chinese, Consulate General, $396K was spent on the salary of Tang and his associates, and $167K on his wife’s credit card payments – including restaurant, vacations, electronics, Holt Renfrew and Harry Rosen clothing.
唐称：“$1000元的餐费账单，用于投资者的午餐会议。Harry Rosen和Holt Renfrew？我和我妻子需要业务服装。度假的开支全部都是用于参加国际会议。总之，为管理如此巨额的投资资金我理应得到报酬。 就2.5%的资金管理费来说，这点开支真是微不足道，微不足道。”
“The $1000 restaurant bill? It was for a meeting with investors. Harry Rosen and Holt Renfrew? Need some business attire for me and my wife. The vacation expenses were all for international meetings,” said Tang. “The bottom line is that I deserve to be paid for managing such a huge investment fund – considering 2.5% in management fees, those expenses were just peanuts, peanuts.”
Rosen & Associates Limited的法务会计师Alan T. Mak表示，这些数字似乎无法证明唐没有从计划中谋取个人利益，也无法证明唐未经营庞氏骗局。
The numbers seem unable to establish that Tang did not personally benefit from the scheme or that his scheme was not Ponzi, says Alan T. Mak, forensic accountant with Rosen & Associates Limited.
“It is evident that substantial funds were returned to investors. Given the lack of substantial investment income such as gains from trading activity, the repayments necessarily were made out of investor capital,” says Mak.
But Tang alleges that the OS|C report was wrong-headed and misleading. “It provided false evidence,” says Tang.
Fighting against authorities
It isn’t exaggerating to say that Tang is a type of rarely encountered figure by Canadian financial authorities. Since being bailed out from Don Jail, Tang started his “one-man” battle with the authorities – including the OSC– by filing several motions against the cease trade order to “stop the OSC from defaming him and harming investors.”
“I’m fighting on my own now, ” says Tang. “I cannot afford a lawyer at all.”
In an open letter to the chairman of the OSC, Tang again avowed his innocence. “How could the OSC and the police charge someone like me for fraud?” he wrote. “I had not only been clean and honest my entire half-century of life, but also vocally and actively anti-fraud — a true business person with character and integrity.”
There are 25 reasons to stop the OSC cease trade order, claims Tang, including that he is “an extremely sophisticated trader, often proving to be one of the best in the world, that Tang, unlike traditional Ponzi schemers who do not choose to trade or know how to trade, are eager to trade, and that “the OSC protects banks and large financial institutions, while injuring individual investors.”
Tang also wrote an open letter to Dalton McGuinty, the Premier of Ontario. He congratulated him on his success in the recent election, and alleged that the Ontario securities watchdog lacks vision and good leadership, and thus is unable to prevent improper or fraudulent practices.
“Nobody in the OSC has the expertise and experience to realize the real financial fraud and improper fraudulent practices… Finding a wrong scapegoat like Chinese Warren Buffett makes it worse… If the Chinese Warren Buffett were the Chairman of the OSC, I would fix all those problems,” Tang wrote.
During an OSC hearing in Nov. which extended his temporary cease trade order to Sept.2012, in his attempt to have the OSC rescind its cease trade order, Tang, again, complained before the hearing chairman about the criminal process and the regulatory authorities of the OSC and accused the OSC of having falsified evidence.
“Mr. Tang is entitled to say what he feels he needs to say, but we take allegations such as that very seriously,” countered the OSC counsel at the hearing, who stated that after the preliminary hearing, Tang has been committed for a criminal trial at the Superior Court.
Tang seems to have lost, again, another motion to oppose the cease trade order. Having read all the documents Tang presented – including his mayoral speech, open letters to the OSC and the Premier, the hearing found that no satisfactory information was provided by Tang as to why the order should not be extended. As a result, the cease trade order was extended to Sept. 2012 by the hearing — after Tang’s criminal trial has begun.
But Tang’s complaints have not gone unattended, at least his open letter to the Premier has received a response from Mr. McGuinty on Nov. 21, in which, apart from some political rhetoric, the Premier wrote:
“As your comments regarding the Ontario Securities Commission would also interest my colleague the Honourable Dwight Duncan, Minister of Finance, I have forwarded a copy of your correspondence to him for his information.”
Tang seems infatuated by the news flashing in his BlackBerry inbox: “They are the authorities who appoint the chair of the OSC!” said Tang to me, with cheeks flushing red and eyes glaring with excitement and hope.