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Richard Maybury — Learning to Spot Crooks in a Dishonest World

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1 comment to Richard Maybury — Learning to Spot Crooks in a Dishonest World

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    West Vancouver property developers caught in cross-country lawsuit

    A wealthy West Vancouver real estate developer faces an unusual lawsuit involving a $10 million loan which was advanced in China with the key term that it must be repaid in B.C.

    The suit was filed in B.C. Supreme Court on June 1 against Qiang Wang (also known as Edison Washington) by a Chinese businesswoman who claims he defaulted on the loan after making an initial interest payment. Also listed as defendants are Amy Barsha Washington (also known as Feng Yun Shao) and her company Chongye Developments Ltd.

    The Washingtons live in a $7.3 million home on Eyremount Drive in West Vancouver.

    They have been active players in Vancouver’s real estate scene. Since 2011 the couple, whose citizenship is not known, has purchased at least 10 Vancouver properties worth an assessed value of $152 million, according to land title documents. Among their deals were a number of land assembly purchases on Cambie Street, made in anticipation of rezoning.

    And several weeks ago they put three empty lots up for sale on Belmont Drive, a street lined with mansions commanding some of the city’s highest prices. The three properties are believed to be the most expensive undeveloped single-family lots in Vancouver. MLS listings for the three properties asked for a total of $68.5 million.

    In the lawsuit, Gui Hua Chen claims the “informal” $10 million loan was negotiated with Chongye Developments.

    The money would be deposited in Chinese currency into a bank account in China with the key term that Chongye would repay $10 million in B.C., according to legal filings. It is not known if any of the money loaned in China actually made its way to Canada.

    Ron Usher — a lawyer and member of the independent review panel that investigated practices in B.C.’s real estate industry — reviewed legal and land title documents relating to the case that were obtained by Postmedia.

    Usher said the case has a number of financial and legal details that he has never seen before.

    “It looks like you put some money down overseas and that gets you a credit in B.C., so

    there is no actual international wire transfer of money,” Usher said, of the transaction described in this lawsuit.

    The case takes place in the context of a historic flight of capital out of China.

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