The Real Deal Miami

Fashion Mall project manager linked to political scandal

Chinese firm accuses Wei Chen of illegal involvement with former Democratic fundraiser

June 26, 2014 03:45PM

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The Fashion Mall in Plantation

The Fashion Mall in Plantation

Attorneys for a Chinese company say the project manager of the redevelopment of Plantation’s Fashion Mall is linked to a political fundraising scandal.

Tangshan Ganglu Iron & Steel’s attorneys filed a disclosure of evidence in Broward Circuit Court earlier this month claiming project manager Wei Chen was formerly known as Yejun He. Ganglu is accusing Chen of misappropriating nearly $49 million of $50 million in funding it allocated for the 321 North mixed-use project at the former Fashion Mall site.

As Yejun He, Chen allegedly was involved in a cash-for-citizenship exchange with Johnny Chung, who spent five years in prison for campaign finance violations and bank fraud, according to the disclosure, as cited by the South Florida Business Journal. Chung was a Democratic fundraiser during the 1990s. Chen was never charged with a crime.

Ganglu and Chen are suing each other over the 321 North funding. Both cases are pending. [South Florida Business Journal]Eric Kalis

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