Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, June 20, 2020

MVNews this week:  Page 7


Mountain Views-News Saturday, June 20, 2020 




 LOS ANGELES – A San Gabriel Valley woman was arrested this morning on a criminal complaint alleging she 
fraudulently solicited $21.6 million in funds for a condominium and hotel complex in the Coachella Valley, then spent 
a significant portion of her victims’ money on her own lavish living expenses, including luxury cars, travel, and designer 

 Ruixue “Serena” Shi, 36, of Arcadia, was taken into custody by special agents of the FBI. She has been charged 
with one count of wire fraud and is expected to make her initial appearance this afternoon in United States District 

 According to an affidavit filed with the complaint filed Wednesday and unsealed today, between November 2015 
and July 2018, Shi solicited investments for the Hyde Resorts and Residences Coachella Valley. Hyde Resorts was to be 
a 207-unit luxury condominium and hotel complex that was supposed to have a total of 95,000 square feet of on-site 
conference facilities, a pool, spa, fitness center and other amenities.

 Shi was the president and owner of Global House Buyer (GHB), a China-based real estate development company, 
and also was CEO of the Beverly Hills-based company Hyde Morgan Development, LLC, the affidavit states. The Hyde 
complex was to be developed by GHB while Hyde Morgan solicited investments.

 Shi contacted prospective investors in the Hyde complex – who mostly were based in China – through sales 
presentations she gave at hotels, radio advertisements, and through the solicitation of investments over forums on WeChat, 
a Chinese messaging, social media, and mobile payment application, according to the affidavit.

 Among the false representations Shi allegedly made to her victims to induce them to invest was that the Hyde 
development was scheduled to begin construction in 2017. Investors were told they would be purchasing condos ranging 
in price from $400,000 to $700,000, according to the affidavit. Investors were required to pay 40 percent of the total 
purchase price upfront as a down payment, but Shi promised that GHB would help them finance the remaining balance 
with loans from U.S.-based banks when the project was completed.

 Chinese investors in the Hyde project were falsely told that their investments with Shi would enable them to 
obtain visas through the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, the affidavit states. EB-5 is a federal program that allows 
foreign investors to secure a U.S. visa by investing a large sum of money to finance a business in the United States that 
employs American workers. One victim told law enforcement that Shi told her that Shi would procure a long-term visa 
for her through the EB-5 Program if she invested $500,000 in the Hyde project, the affidavit states.

 Shi also allegedly told investors that GHB had purchased a 47-acre lot of land in Coachella Valley where the 
Hyde development was to be built. In reality, Shi purchased only 20 acres of that property, the affidavit states. Shi also 
falsely told investors that GHB had obtained the required city development approvals for the Hyde development, which 
included the re-zoning of the land she purportedly had purchased, when no such approvals had been given.

 When some victim-investors began demanding refunds after hearing GHB no longer was in operation in the 
United States, Shi allegedly offered them partial refunds if they signed a contract purporting to prevent them from 
disclosing they had received the refund. She also allegedly sent investors phony photographs purporting to be of construction 
that was underway. In truth, GHB never began construction on the Hyde development and never purchased 
the entire plot of land where the development was to be built, the affidavit states.

 Bank records allegedly show that Shi transferred the victims’ funds to her personal accounts and then misappropriated 
a significant portion of victims’ money for her own expenses. For example, she allegedly used $2.2 million of 
investor money to pay a company that provided luxury travel and concierge services, nearly $295,000 to purchase two 
Mercedes-Benz automobiles, and hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy clothes, restaurant meals, and hotel stays in 
Beverly Hills, France, Thailand and China.

 A complaint contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent 
until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

 If convicted, Shi would face a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.

The FBI investigated this matter. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Alexander 
C.K. Wyman of the Major Frauds Section. 

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles County 
Department of Public Health (Public 
Health) has confirmed 36 new deaths and 
1,051 new cases of 2019 Novel Coronavirus 
(COVID-19). Twenty-six people who 
died were over the age of 65 years old, 
seven people who died were between the 
ages of 41 and 65 years old, and one person 
who died was between the ages of 18 
and 40 years old. Thirty-one people had 
underlying health conditions including 25 
people over the age of 65 years old and six 
people between the ages of 41 to 65 years 
old. One death was reported by the City of 
Long Beach and one death was reported 
by the City of Pasadena.

To date, Public Health has identified 
78,227 positive cases of COVID-19 across 
all areas of LA County, and a total of 3,027 
deaths. Ninety-four percent of people who 
died had underlying health conditions. 
Of those who died, information about 
race and ethnicity is available for 2,807 
people (99 percent of the cases reported 
by Public Health); 42% of deaths occurred 
among Latino/Latinx residents, 29% 
among White residents, 17% among Asian 
residents, 11% among African American 
residents, less than 1% among Native Hawaiian/
Pacific Islander residents and 1% 
among residents identifying with other 
races. Upon further investigation, 13 cases 
reported earlier were not LA County residents. 
There are 1,429 people who are currently 
hospitalized, 29% of these people 
are in the ICU and 22% are on ventilators. 
Testing capacity continues to increase in 
LA County, with testing results available 
for nearly 868,000 individuals and 8% of 
people testing positive.

A modified Health Officer Order and directives 
for the reopening of additional 
businesses is being issued today with an 
effective date of June 19. The Health Officer 
Order will allow for the following 
sectors to reopen once they implement the 
required protocols for infection control 
and distancing:

Cardrooms, satellite wagering facilities 
and racetracks with no spectators

Personal care services including: esthetician, 
skin care and cosmetology services; 
electrology; nail salons; body art professionals, 
tattoo parlors, microblading and 
permanent make-up; and piercing shops; 
and massage therapy

Bars, wineries, breweries and tasting 

The Health Officer Order contains protocols 
for all businesses that are permitted 
to reopen to ensure it is done as safely 
as possible for employees, customers and 
residents. Employees and visitors to these 
businesses will need to wear a cloth face 
covering when around other people and 
practice physical distancing of at least 6 
feet at all times. Some employees may be 
required to wear face shields. It is important 
for everyone to follow the directives 
and to do their part every day to keep 
everyone as safe as possible. Businesses 
should take the time to put all of the protocols 
in place before reopening. The directives 
will be available online and are 
contained in sector-specific protocols that 
inform all re-openings.

“To the many families who are mourning 
loved ones lost to COVID-19, please accept 
our heartfelt sympathies,” said Barbara 
Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of 
Public Health. “COVID-19 has impacted 
everyone across the county, and we are all 
feeling exhausted by the safety requirements, 
yet we still have to find it within 
ourselves to do our part to protect each 
other from the spread of the virus. As 
more sectors re-open, we risk losing all 
the progress we have made in slowing the 
spread, if we don't take every precaution 
possible to prevent exposing others and 
ourselves to the virus."

Because this virus is still easily transmitted 
among people in contact with each other, 
the best protection against COVID-19 
continues to be to wash your hands frequently, 
avoid touching your eyes, nose, 
and mouth with unwashed hands, self-
isolate if you are sick, practice physical 
distancing, and wear a clean face covering 
when in contact with others from outside 
your household. It’s important if someone 
thinks they could be positive for COVID-
19 and are awaiting testing results, to 
stay at home and act as if they are positive. 
This means self-isolating for 10 days and 
72 hours after symptoms and fever subside, 
or until they receive a negative result. 
If a person tests positive for COVID-19, 
they should plan on receiving a call from 
a contact tracer to discuss how to protect 
themselves and others, to find out where 
they may have been, and who they were in 
close contact with while infectious. People 
who have underlying health conditions 
remain at much greater risk for serious illness 
from COVID-19, so it will continue 
to be very important for the County's 
vulnerable residents to stay at home as 
much as possible, to have groceries and 
medicine delivered, and to call their providers 
immediately if they have even mild 

TABLE FOR TWO by Peter Dills


It has been said, that there is no substitute for time. Only 
through its passage can many of life’s experiences be fully 
understood. This 
Fathers Day I reflect 
back on a lesson of life 
and a Father that has 
ceased to teach and 
comfort me. I would 
like to invite you along 
for a single night 
with a man that has 
left this Earthy place 
but dwells eternally 
within my heart. The 
article below was 
written and published 
before his passing.

My Evening with a 
Restaurant Critic.

My entire life has been 
an eight course meal. 
In my late teens I 
had the distinguished 
position of bagger at 
the local supermarket, 
and later with 
references, I was able 
to move to Jurgensen’s 
Gourmet Grocery. 
There I was to learn 
about fine wines, exotic cheeses and my kryptonite, dry 
aged beef. I guess it all started there because at twenty-three 
I was pretentious about food. For many years I thought 
that was where it all started for me, there in those markets, 
but I have come to realize that I was wrong. For some in 
life it is the famous baseball player; or possibly a religious 
figure, for others it is a musical master or the profound 
artist. How many times in life, if ever do you get a chance 
to sit with those that inspire and challenge life with a depth 
of wisdom? For most they will never get the opportunity. I 
can claim one prize in this life; I have had the opportunity 
to observe, speak with and lastly follow in the footsteps of 
one person that holds that place for me. They have been 
labeled “The greatest generation” for a reason. Each day 
another from that stratum of America, “slowly goes into 
the night.”

Many of you know that my Father Elmer Dills was on TV 
and radio for twenty-eight years here in Los Angeles. I 
had the opportunity to dine and share with my mentor a 
few weeks ago. I have been out with my Father at least five 
hundred times but as a fine wine, wisdom increases in its 
depth and flavor as it ages. 

On this night our adventure took us to Madeleines(since 
closed) in Pasadena. Seems that my Dad is a regular 
there and lately he’s been a little under the weather. I have 
heard him say nothing but praise of this place, so it’s off to 

“Table for three, please,” on this evening we have, my 
daughter Lauren (the budding Critic), Pops and Me. 
Whenever I see courteous, well behaved children; I know 
their parents are invariably going to be respectful people. 
Likewise whenever I get a compliment, I know it goes 
beyond just me. As we sit to dine, there is no call for 
attention and gratification, just a smooth easy in being in 
his court. As we talk, I am struck that there is no air of 
condemnation but rather one of deep respect for the people 
that more often than not get it right in this business. My 
Dad the legendary restaurant critic doesn’t even ask what 
the ingredients of the dishes are as he orders. He doesn’t 
request to see the sommelier. Is he a restaurant critic, I am 
waiting for a sign? It is just as natural as going to dinner 
with a group of friends, I think.

The restaurant is quietly attractive, cozy and well spaced. 
You feel a little smarter here, knowing that Albert Einstein 
often slept upstairs while he was visiting Cal Tech. 

We began with a cheese plate ($9), nice but it could have 
used less nuts and more of cheese and crackers. My Dad 
is a creature of habit, just like many of us. He orders the 
Rack of Lamb, “I just loved it,” just like a young kid would 
say. The waiter was kind enough to have it cut for him. 
Daughter Lauren ordered the Pork Chops and gave it two 
training thumbs up. Now that is a compliment. Not sure if 
high heels work in this business though, as you never know 
when you may encounter a chef that feels you have leveled 
capricious discourse with your pen on the one hand and 
possess a frying pan in the other. She will discover soon 
enough why I wear running shoes and a sport coat.

I order the Spencer Steak, of course I am the difficult one, 
so once we get the steak the way I wanted it cooked, it 
vanishes quickly. 

Back to Dad, the waiter asks, “How was the meal” and I 
know 99% of you when asked would give the response, 
“Fine, Thank You.” Nope, the restaurant critic said, “The 
lamb chops were great!!!” “And the dessert was?” A 
shrugged of the shoulders told it all. That is the honesty 
and passion that got me involved in this business. Today, 
I still work at a restaurant to keep up on the trends and I 
even get a crazy dream that I may own one someday. You 
can be sure he will be one of the first to give a thumbs up or 
a shrug of the shoulders if I do. 

Happy Fathers Day – I would never trade sitting across the 
table from you for anything.

This was a re-print and may just run it every year at this 
time just to remind you and all to hold these special days 
near your heart.

Join me on the radio Sunday Morning Go Country 105




 Total Cases 79,609 (70,476)

 Deaths 3,063 ( 2,832)


Age Group (Los Angeles County Cases Only-excl LB and Pas) 

- 0 to 17 5042 

- 18 to 40 29881 

- 41 to 65 28672 

- over 65 11611 

- Under Investigation 416 

Gender (Los Angeles County Cases Only-excl LB and Pas) 

- Female 37164 

- Male 38114 

- Other 10 

- Under Investigation 334 

Race/Ethnicity (Los Angeles County Cases Only-excl LB and Pas) 

- American Indian/Alaska Native 63 

- Asian 3537 

- Black 2506 

- Hispanic/Latino 26721 

- Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander 316 

- White 7368 

- Other 11048 

- Under Investigation 24063

STATS BY CITY Population Cases Deaths 

(last week's stats in parenthesis)

Pasadena 14,1371 1099 (1023) 86 (84)

Uninc- East Pasadena 6,403 4 (4) 0 (0)


City of Arcadia 57,754 125 (105) 7 (6)

Uninc. - Arcadia 7.981 17 ( 12) 1 (1)

City of Bradbury 1,069 4 0


City of Duarte 22,016 154 (144) 17 17

Uninc.- Duarte 4,428 25 (18) 1 (1)

City of Monrovia 38,800 207 (185) 27 (25)

Uninc - Monrovia 3,881 24 (23) 0 (0)


City of Sierra Madre 10,989 23 (15) 2 (2)

City of So.Pasadena 26,053 140 (138) 21 (20)

Uninc.- Altadena 43,260 197 (178) 6 (6)

For updated information go to:

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