Ching Lo, the businesswoman who heads Camsing International, which owns Stan Lee’s Pow! Entertainment, is at the center of a web of massive fraud allegations, Chinese media reported Wednesday. Noah Holdings, one of China’s largest private wealth managers, is suing Camsing and e-commerce giant JD.com.
It emerged Monday that Ching had been arrested by Shanghai’s Public Security Bureau. According to a regulatory filing by another Ching-headed company, Boxin Investing, she was taken into custody June 20, followed by Boxin CFO Jiang Shaoyang five days later.
Noah is understood to have alerted the police after suspecting that $490 million (RMB3.4 billion) of asset-management products backed by Camsing Global’s accounts receivable from JD.com were close to default.
JD.com denied any involvement in the alleged fraud. It acknowledged Camsing as a supplier, but said that Camsing had faked contracts with it. JD.com and Noah are now trading accusations as to whether Noah had done sufficient due diligence on the eight Camsing financial products.
Privately held Camsing Global is believed to control Boxin, Hong Kong-listed entertainment-to-property business Camsing International, and Singapore-listed Camsing Healthcare. Camsing International bought the late Stan Lee’s Pow! Entertainment in 2017, operates a merchandising business based on international and local characters, and last year announced plans to launch a nationwide chain of mini-entertainment complexes.
“Pow! Entertainment is one of many subsidiaries of Camsing International Holdings,” Pow! in a statement Monday. “We have been and will continue to be an independent operating unit with a separate and autonomous U.S.-based management team. The news today is disturbing to us but will in no way impede our single-minded dedication to our mission as the guardian of the legacy of our founder Stan Lee, the greatest storyteller of our time.”
On Wednesday, Chinese financial publication Caixin said that other fraud allegations may be about to surface. “Similar debates arose between Yunnan International Trust Co. and [retail giant] Suning involving products that raised more than $145 million (RMB1 billion) for Camsing Global, and backed by pending payments from Suning,” it said. The financial product was issued Xiangcai Securities.
Caixin said that Yunnan Trust has reported the matter to the police, but Xiangcai has not yet followed suit. Camsing is understood to have marketed other financial products created for it by COFCO Trust, National Trust and Donghai Ruijing Asset Management.
Caixin cited unconfirmed sources as saying that 10 staff had been detained by police, and one from Noah. It did not say if any were released.
Camsing shares have tumbled from HK$4.76 at the close of business last Friday to HK$0.58 on Wednesday, after three consecutive days of falls. Noah’s New York-listed ADR shares traded at $34.47 on early Wednesday, down from $44.69 at the end of Friday.