The swamp is deep on this story my friends. According to a new story in the San Jose Mercury News, former L.A. mayor Tony Villar was paid handsomely to promote a company that was later sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
According to the story, before Tony Villar thought it would be a good idea to run for governor, the former mayor would travel the world, trying to pick up on some of that sweet speech money.
Financial documents released by his campaign show that Villar did pretty well on his speaking tour, making a nice chunk of change. He earned just over $318,000 for 24 speeches he made since leaving the mayor's office in July of 2013.
(Not a bad gig if you can get it).
A deep dive into the speeches showed a more troubling pattern than a guy trying to make a fast buck. Turns out, Villar was paid more than $50,000 to promote a company in China that was later sued by the SEC for defrauding immigrant investors.
The December 2014 speech was organized by a company called Los Angeles County Proton Therapy, an organization that planned on building a cancer treatment center in Southern California. The project collapsed after the company was sued by the SEC because the company allegedly collected $27 million from 50 Chinese investors for the center, and diverted $20 million to the husband-and-wife executives, Charles Liu, and Xin Wang.
A judge later order Liu and Wang to repay the funds they had raised and added an additional $8 million in civil penalties against them.
Villar says he began giving speeches to share the "lessons" he learned from leading Los Angeles (Like what? We know it wasn't about filling potholes, cause that never happened).
“I have been focused on how we can unite around bold solutions,” he said in a statement. “Speaking on those topics, and hearing from fellow speakers and audience members, was both a chance to teach and a chance to learn.”
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