Friday, September 9, 2016

Clinton White House access up for sale in 1997 according to Paula Dwyer

Man In The Middle Of Donorgate Was Ted Sioeng
funneling money or just doing business?

Paula Dwyer August 11, 1997 —  12:00 AM EDT

Ted Sioeng had arrived. On the evening of July 22, 1996, he sat proudly beside Bill Clinton in the glitzy ballroom of the Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles at a dinner that raised $800,000 in whose limited English made small talk with Clinton difficult--what was a night to remember is now part of a nightmare he'd like to forget. Sioeng (pronounced shong), 52, a multimillionaire who made a fortune selling used factory equipment in China and exporting Chinese cigarettes to the West, finds himself at the center of Donorgate. According to sources familiar with both Justice Dept. and Senate Governmental Affairs Committee probes into whether Beijing attempted to influence last year's elections, Sioeng could be a linchpin in the scandal. He and his daughter Jessica Elnitiarta have given about $400,000 to politicians since 1995, the bulk of it to Democrats. And some of those donations allegedly coincided with large wire transfers from the Bank of China to their U.S. bank accounts. Is Ted Sioeng the key to Donorgate? Or is he simply a flamboyant entrepreneur doing business in America the way he does business in Asia--using his wealth to boost political connections. Through their lawyers, Mark J. MacDougall and Steven R. Ross of Washington, Sioeng and Elnitiarta deny that Beijing was behind any of their contributions or that they ever acted on China's behalf. This much is known: Intercepts of conversations indicate that top Chinese officials discussed ways to influence U.S. politicians and may even have mentioned people friendly to Beijing who might be enlisted in the effort. MacDougall says he wouldn't be surprised if Chinese diplomats raised Sioeng's name--he is also called Sioeng San Wong--because he is pro-China.

Sioeng, who declined to be interviewed, is not a permanent U.S. resident--his passport is from Belize- -but his wife and children are. He has not been seen in the U.S. since winter and is believed to be living in Hong Kong. Sioeng's views on China are more emotional than political, say friends. He is not an ethnic Chinese but was raised in Indonesia by a Chinese couple. Ideologically, he appears to be a free-market capitalist. Sioeng became wealthy in his 20s by selling foam rubber padding in Indonesia. And he was among the first to recognize that money could be made in a newly opened China in the 1970s. First, Sioeng sold used cigarette-manufacturing equipment to co-ops in the southern province of Yunnan. Later, he moved on to used medical and toy-making equipment. He also endeared himself to the provincial government by donating money to build schools, hospitals, and roads. In return, Yunnan officials granted him a license to sell the popular Hongtashan brand of cigarettes--called Pagoda Mountain in the U.S.--outside of China. The wire transfers he receives from the Bank of China, according to a source familiar with the transactions, are quarterly dividends from his cigarette joint venture, a dollar-based business.

Despite his affection for China, Sioeng seems crazy about the U.S. He is known to wear ties imprinted with the Statue of Liberty, and friends say he became so enamored of America that he decided to raise his five children here. His wife obtained a visa through an immigration lottery, and in 1987, the family moved to Los Angeles. Sioeng stayed behind to take care of business but made frequent extended visits. His eldest child, Jessica Elnitiarta--she uses her mother's maiden name--heads the family interests in California and is the sole shareholder of Panda Estates Investment Inc. Panda holdings include two Hollywood hotels and a 24-unit luxury condo in Beverly Hills. The properties are worth some $25 million and the condo alone produces nearly $1 million in annual pretax profit, according to Sioeng's lawyers. This means Elnitiarta, 31, easily could have made political donations out of her own pocket. "The amount of money they gave was not a big deal to them," says a friend. Sioeng's most visible asset is the International Daily News, a Chinese-language newspaper in Monterey Park. Formerly pro-Taiwan, the paper today is pro-China, some readers say, because it runs releases issued by Beijing news agencies.

But Jamie Lim, deputy general manager, says Sioeng isn't around enough to influence its content. DEEP POCKET. Sioeng often donated money to Asian-American groups, and his generosity to Iowa Wesleyan College was recognized with an honorary doctorate. Inevitably, pols began to view Dr. Sioeng, as he sometimes calls himself, as a deep pocket, too. California State Treasurer Matt Fong, a Republican, was among the first to come calling. Fong, now running for a U.S. Senate seat, received $100,000 from Sioeng and Elnitiarta in 1995. When reports suggested the money came from China, he returned it. Others familiar with Sioeng's giving say they don't see China behind the donations. Fong aggressively solicited Sioeng after his 1994 treasurer's race, they say. And Fong concedes that he went to Sioeng's office "no more than 10 times" seeking money. Sioeng has told friends he gave Fong $50,000 because he was weary of his pleas. Fong even helped him write the check because of Sioeng's difficulty with English.

Elnitiarta gave the money, says a friend, because she was told the NPF would hold an event at her hotel. It never did. Soon, Sioeng's largesse caught the eye of Democratic fund-raiser John Huang. He invited Sioeng and Elnitiarta to his maiden event as a DNC fund-raiser in February, 1996, and to the now infamous April, 1996, Buddhist Temple lunch with Vice-President Al Gore. It was also Huang who invited Sioeng to the Century Plaza fund-raiser. A Democratic source says Huang's practice by this time was to solicit wealthy Asian Americans to buy entire tables so they could impress foreign guests with their White House connections. Elnitiarta gave $250,000 altogether, and this enabled Sioeng to invite associates from mainland China to three DNC events. The DNC has kept Elnitiarta's donations, which are legal because she's a permanent U.S. resident. If nothing else, she and her father have learned that a few hundred thousand dollars can buy plenty of political connections--and a whole lot of grief--in America.

  • 2.1 Yah-Lin "Charlie" Trie
  • 2.2 Johnny Chung
  • 2.3 John Huang and James Riady
  • 2.4 Maria Hsia
  • 2.5 Ted Sioeng
  • 3.1 Department of Justice investigation
  • 3.2 Congressional investigations
  • 3.3 Calls for an independent counsel

  • Dear Hillary letter from George Soros.

    Customs Service Probe Hits Loral With $20 Million Fine
    (Loral passed technology to China to improve missile systems)
    The U.S. Customs Service announced January 10 that its four-year probe of Space System/Loral has resulted in that company paying a $20 million fine. The Customs Service charged Loral with violating the Arms Export Control Act, which governs the transfer of sensitive U.S. technology to foreign governments, by turning over technology to China that allowed it to improve the guidance systems for its missiles, according to a news release from the U.S. Customs Service on its probe of the satellite manufacturer. In an agreement reached between Loral and the State Department, the company agreed to pay the fine without admitting or denying the government's charges. While the $20 million fine is the largest paid by an American company under the Arms Export Control Act, Loral will use approximately $6 million from the fine "to implement better export controls," according to the news release. The government will receive the remaining $14 million. Following is the text of the news release: (begin text)
    Thursday, January 10, 2002 U.S. Customs Probes Into Satellite Manufacturer Results in Record $20 Million Fine Washington, D.C. -- The U.S. Customs Service today announced that Space System/Loral, a U.S. satellite manufacturer, has agreed to pay a $20 million fine for allegedly passing licensable technology to China to improve its missile guidance systems. The Customs Special-Agent-in-Charge Office in Baltimore investigated the case. The four-year investigation began in May 1996 after reports surfaced that Loral had released sensitive technical data to the Chinese. Earlier that year, Loral had undertaken a review of a failed launch of one of its satellites in China. The satellite was built for Intelset and was being launched by a Chinese rocket. Loral later admitted to the U.S. State Department of having unintentionally released sensitive information to Chinese authorities after the review. Loral was charged with violating the Arms Export Control Act, which governs the transfer of sensitive U.S. technology to foreign governments. Under the terms of an agreement reached between Loral and the State Department, the company agreed to pay the fine without admitting or denying the government's charges. The $20 million fine is the largest paid by an American company under the Arms Export Control Act. Approximately $6 million will be used by Loral to implement better export controls, and $14 million in cash will be paid to the government. The U.S. Customs Service is charged with preventing the illegal movement of U.S. munitions and technology having sensitive civil and military applications to proscribed destinations around the world, and to terrorist organizations that pose a threat to the national security of the United States. (end text) (Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site:

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