Lately, Reading the Wall Street Journal is as Good as a Fiction Thriller

Over the last few months, the Wall Street Journal has covered some fascinating stories. This is stuff that would normally be found in a John Grisham thriller but sadly is real:

• The Bernard Maddoff Fraud

• The Stanford Fraud

• Danny Pang

The Danny Pang fraud broke yesterday. If the Wall Street Journal is to be believed, this guy is a real character. From yesterday’s article:

Mr. Pang’s résumé depicts a glittering success story: a Taiwanese immigrant who earned an M.B.A., worked on Wall Street and now heads a $4 billion investment fund. He also became a partner in another fund firm with business luminaries such as Frank Carlucci, the former defense secretary and ex-Carlyle Group chairman, and former Lockheed Martin Chief Executive Norman Augustine.

But both Mr. Pang’s past and his business may not be quite as they appear. The university from which he says he has an M.B.A. and another degree says it has no record of either. Morgan Stanley, where Mr. Pang’s bio says he was a senior vice president and senior high-tech merger adviser, says it can find no record it ever employed him.

Further down in the article:

Danny Pang was born Dec. 15, 1966, in Taiwan, where, according to people who know him, his mother’s family was the wealthy owner of a furniture-making business. He came to the U.S. as a youth. Later, at the University of California, Irvine, he became a student leader, chairman of the Asian Pacific Student & Staff Association in 1988-89.

University records, however, show a “Danny Pang” with his Social Security number and birth date enrolled only for a single summer term, in 1986, and don’t show that anyone with his name or Social Security number ever received the degrees he lists. Asked how someone unenrolled could be a student leader, a university spokeswoman said, “He could just walk on campus, be Mr. Personality and get elected chairman. How would they know if he was a student?”

The article then goes on to say that Pang claims he got his degrees under a Chinese name that we won’t disclose and that he has proof of his degrees but hasn’t provided them.

Not only that, the article directly below this article is about the murder of his wife! According to that article, his wife answered the door one day and some nicely-dressed guy pulled a gun out, she ran away and hid in a closet. The murderer shot her to death as she cowered in a closet. Oh, and all of this happened while Mr. Pang was out of town. He was never found guilty. You can read the article here.

My question is: does fiction mirror life or does life mirror fiction? Hmmm…

3 thoughts on “Lately, Reading the Wall Street Journal is as Good as a Fiction Thriller”

  1. JLP,

    Can’t wait to see when the book, or books, come out on Madoff, written by some enterprising business journalist. As long as he digs up only maybe half of what was going on, that would already be a bonanza. And turn quite a few people red-faced who had a business or other juicy relationship with him.

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