Money problems might be so severe for many enterprising individuals that they are willing to do just about anything. Apparently, it is fairly easy to invent a bank and appear extremely wealthy. It can be named absolutely anything, have as much money as desired, and build its own reputation of excellence – all without the trouble of actually having to run it as a viable and legitimate operation.
The Inventive Businessman
When a rice trader in Beijing decided to become wealthier, he simply created a US Bank and then stated he purchased it. Naturally, he let all this information “slip” to local media and it was reported he had taken over Atlantic Bank based in Delaware. Well, of course, everyone in town was proud of him. After all, one of their own had managed to buy an American bank. He was a superhero in their eyes, but not in the eyes of the law once his scheme was discovered. This inventive con-man even reported that the bank already had deposits in excess of $40 million and would realize an outstanding annual profit.
Lin Chunping laid claim to the fact that he had pursued the sale of Atlantic Bank and eventually purchased it for $60 million dollars. Immediately, news media in China began researching this incredible story. However, there was one small hitch. Atlantic Bank could not be located. Even with information provided by Lin that the bank had been renamed USA New HSBC Federation Consortium, Inc., records of validity were non-existent. This acquisition by Lin was yet another sign in China that the US economy was on a downward spiral, but seemingly the fake Atlantic Bank was not involved. The fact that Lin wasn’t even a banker made his purchase of a US bank even more spectacular, and suspicious.
Fake Business in China
Lin isn’t the first individual to come up with a scheme such as this to gain wealth and fame in his home country. China has long been recognized as a capital of designer purse knock-offs, fake computer stores, shady learning institutions, and invented careers. Mr. Lin simply jumped on that bandwagon to make a name for himself and gain respect at levels even he had never imagined. And it all went incredibly well until his lies were discovered.
Arrest and Investigation
After thorough research into the validity of Atlantic Bank and its purchase, discovering that none of the story was factual, Mr. Lin’s acquisition was revealed as a fake. Since he was already under arrest for fraud unrelated to the present “banking issue”, Lin was forced out of his newly-respected position on the Chinese government’s top advisory board. Even though Mr. Lin did not seem to actually make money on this elaborate scheme, he is being investigated for creating millions of dollars in false invoices, supposedly to evade taxes. He may have gained undue respect in his homeland, but the penalties far outweigh the glory.
This is a good lesson to be learned in a country where embellishment of one’s own wealth and skills is somewhat common. A person simply cannot invent a bank and get away with it. Life seems to be heading in a downward spiral for this short-term Chinese celebrity. In a world of high-tech search capabilities, it is questionable how long Lin expected this fairytale to last.