Horry County Council unanimously voted to defer the first reading of rezoning request for Indian Wells Golf Courst until the June 6th regular council meeting. Council will request the Chinese owners of Founders Group International, Nick Dou and Dan Liu, to appear at that council meeting with their attorneys to answer questions about possible restrictions on the property with respect to the current litigation between Dou and Liu and, possibly, to address questions about Liu’s immigration status and Chinese legal problems.
By Paul Gable
A third try at first reading approval for a rezoning of Indian Wells Golf Course will come before Horry County Council Tuesday night.
This time around, it appears commercial areas have been removed from the redevelopment plan with townhomes replacing commercial buildings.
This is all part of the game that is played throughout the county to basically give developers what they want while making it appear council is working in the interests of affected citizens.
One of the best kept secrets with respect to development is that virtually all of the golf courses in the county have underlying zoning that allows for future development. That house bought on a fairway in one of the many golf course communities in the area may not always look out on a fairway. In the case of Indian Wells, the fairway view may soon be replaced by townhomes.
The rezoning is being requested for reasons that apparently have to do with making the land more valuable to developers not for any benefit of the current homeowners in the surrounding community.
However, the Indian Wells rezoning has other interesting facets.
Indian Wells is one of the golf courses currently owned by Founders Group International with a mortgage in the amount of $4,769,496.00 payable to Founders majority owner Dan Liu.
Liu is a Chinese citizen in the U.S. on a work visa that appears to have expired in August 2018.
To further complicate matters, Liu purchased 22 golf courses and other properties in the area with money he stole from Yiqian Funding, a peer to peer financing business in China, according to documents in the Jiangsu Province General District Attorney Office, Jiangsu Province, Peoples Republic of China.
According to a release from that office, an arrest warrant for Liu was issued in March 2017.
Although Liu has claimed in a deposition for a civil lawsuit in the U.S. that the money used to purchase the local properties was from his personal funds, it appears it in fact came from the missing Yiqian Funding money.
Liu may have broken U.S. federal laws with respect to money laundering by using the missing money from Yiqian Funding to purchase the U.S. properties. Specifically, it appears provisions of 18 U.S. Code Section 1956 has been violated by Liu’s actions.
It is an interesting state of affairs, even in Horry County, to be considering rezoning a golf course for development that was purchased with funds connected to crimes in both the Peoples Republic of China and the United States.
It must be questioned, how can an immigrant with an expired visa, who is a wanted fugitive from China and apparently has broken money laundering laws of the U. S., continue to live in and attempt to do business in Horry County?