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With fabricated bank, Chinese entrepreneur sets new standard for fakery

41-year-old rice trader Lin took
fakery to a whole new level:
 He invented a U.S. bank and
 claimed he bought it.

In a China awash with fake iPhones, pirated DVDs and knockoff Louis Vuitton bags, rice trader Lin Chunping took fakery to a whole new level: He invented a U.S. bank and claimed he bought it.

The little-known businessman shot to fame in January when state media reported that he had taken over Delaware-based Atlantic Bank. The unprecedented acquisition brought him praise: His hometown gave him a prestigious political appointment and state media called his business experience “legendary.”...

Lin told Chinese reporters that it took him two years to negotiate the purchase of the U.S. bank, and that the bank had declared bankruptcy in 2008 because of the financial crisis. To add more flair to the story, Lin told reporters that the bank had been running for 85 years and was run by Jews, who are stereotypically seen by many Chinese as having superior business skills.

Lin’s story was particularly captivating because overseas acquisitions are a point of pride in China, showcasing its rising economic power. Lin’s supposed purchase of an American bank signaled both Chinese triumph and U.S. decline...

The story attracted so much attention that Chinese journalists familiar with U.S. banking regulations checked into the legitimacy of Lin’s claims. They found no Atlantic Bank in Delaware and that Lin’s New HSBC was not licensed to offer banking services in Delaware...



Man who tried to sell 'world's largest emerald' accused of fraud

The 11.5-kilogram green rock was billed as the world’s largest emerald and dubbed Teodora, a name that derives from Greek and means “gift from god.”

The emerald, however, may not quite be the $1-million-plus stone its purported owner Regan Reaney promoted it as.

Mr. Reaney was arrested on Friday in Kelowna in the B.C. interior, as Royal Canadian Mounted Police took him into custody. Mr. Reaney is accused of multiple fraud offenses in Ontario, the RCMP said in a brief statement, and Hamilton Police had outstanding warrants for his arrest.

Mr. Reaney wasn’t previously known to Kelowna police, but he did not feel the instinct to keep a low profile. He had a watermelon-sized precious gem to sell, after all.

In mid-January, Mr. Reaney easily attracted a swath of media interest as he put his green rock up for auction at Kelowna’s Western Star Auctions. Mr. Reaney painted himself as a rare gems dealer from Calgary, who had acquired the stone from India through a contact made on the Internet, the stone originally mined in Brazil.

Mr. Reaney advertised the 57,500-carat rock as the largest cut emerald in the world, appraised at $1.15-million.

Why fake dollars are big business in Peru

US authorities believe that Peru is the major foreign producer of fake dollar bills circulating in the US...more than $17m in fake money has been seized so far this year, mostly bound for the US and countries that use the dollar as currency, such as Ecuador.



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