Investors bilked out of over $1.1 billion are pursuing a class action lawsuit in federal court against Founders Group International, its associated LLC’s and principal owner Dan Liu.
The lead plaintiffs in the case are Xunhui Cheng, a citizen of the Peoples Republic of China, and Kelan Cai, a citizen of the United States.
Background for this lawsuit is provided below:
Liu, a native of the Peoples Republic of China, first appeared in 2014 buying up golf courses with apparently unlimited amounts of cash. At the time, Liu was hailed as a potential savior of the golf tourism industry in Horry County.
In the 2014-15 timeframe, Liu and his Founders Group International LLC acquired a total of 22 golf courses, various potential development properties and homes. It is estimated his total expenditure in the Grand Strand area was approximately $140 million.
Liu’s wealth supposedly came from his ownership stake in Yiqian Funding, also marketed as “Easy Richness”, a peer to peer lending business in his native China.
By the time Liu staged his society style wedding at his newly acquired Pine Lakes Country Club clubhouse in April 2015, the event was hailed by local media as the Grand Strand’s “first major step into the overseas tourism market.”
But it was all a con.
Storm clouds began to block out this sunny picture in 2016 when Chinese police began raiding Yiqian Funding offices in China. The picture accompanying this article shows police carrying computers and records out of an “Easy Richness” office in China during one raid.
Liu’s principal partner in Yiqian Funding, Xiuli Xue, an attendee at the Liu wedding in Myrtle Beach, and 11 other high ranking associates in the Yiqian Funding organization were arrested in 2016, Xue in Hong Kong as she was attempting to leave the country.
All 12 were convicted at trial for an “illegal fundraising case” designated as a “Series of Yiqian Events.” by the Nanjing District Attorney for Jiangsu Province in China. They are currently serving prison sentences.