What began as Mayor John Rhodes’ multiple trips to China and Brad Dean promoting Myrtle Beach opportunities on Al Jazeera and in China has finally come into sunlight.
The future of 22 Myrtle Beach golf courses and billions in Myrtle Beach area real estate are now uncertain.
Mayor Rhodes’ multiple visits to China ultimately lead to the sell of several assets on behalf of National Golf which was formed by Burroughs and Chapin Corporation and Myrtle Beach National. At the time, Myrtle Beach National was managed by Matthew Brittain of Brittain Resort Hotels.
The suit also alleges the District Attorney’s Office in China’s Jiangsu Province seeks Liu’s arrest for possible financial fraud through his involvement in the Yiqian Funding lending business there, and The Sun News has acquired documentation that supports the pending arrest accusation.
Last Friday, FGI general manager Rick Taylor and chief financial officer/vice president Tommy Smothers were terminated, and Dou said he was fired Monday. In the suit, Dou attributes his firing to his questioning of Liu’s “wrongful acts and financial irregularities” regarding the operation of FGI.
Dou is requesting that the court immediately restrain Liu from operating FGI and appoint a receiver over the operations and assets of FGI and affiliated FGI entities to protect Dou’s interests as well as the company’s investors, approximate 1,000 employees and the company and entities themselves from any further misappropriation of funds by Liu until the lawsuit is resolved.
The suit alleges:
▪ Liu has written checks to family members and third parties without legitimate corporate purpose and used the funds of FGI and the FGI entities for his personal benefit.
▪ Through FGI funds, Liu purchased a 2017 Grady-White 336 Canyon center console fishing boat in November 2016 that is titled to the company Offshore Captain LLC, which is owned and controlled by Liu. The purchase price was $389,651 and FGI funds cover the maintenance, repair and upkeep of the boat.
▪ In March, Liu was responsible for the transfer of $550,000 from the FGI entity Founders National Golf LLC to attorney Hugh H. Mo in New York City, whom Dou believes represents Liu in his legal matters in China.
▪ Liu has transferred substantial assets of FGI and FGI entities to D&C International Holdings LLC, which is owned exclusively by Liu and his wife, Xuan Zhuang, and now owns at least 10 residential and commercial real estate parcels in Horry County through a series of real estate transactions.
▪ Liu has made FGI lease office space from D&C International Holdings for a customer call center despite there being ample vacant space in FGI-owned buildings.
▪ Liu has made FGI employ multiple members of his immediate and extended family who provide little benefit to the company.
▪ Liu is purging the company of anyone who will question his actions.
▪ Dou believes there is a grave risk that Liu will not only continue but accelerate his pattern of misappropriating and converting corporate assets for his own personal benefit.
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The future of Mayor John Rhodes is now also very much uncertain as he used the name and the good will of the city of Myrtle Beach as this deal unfolded for a few area business insiders. As for Myrtle Beach Area Chamber C.E.O. Brad Dean, his involvement here is well documented also, as in the video above, but with his powerful state connections, questions remain about whether the residents of Myrtle Beach will finally put the city’s best interests above Dean’s.
Editor’s Note: This story was edited to reflect Mr. Blondin’s comment below.