Arcadia Council Member John Wuo on Wednesday denied having a connection to an active company involving the founder of a controversial cryptocurrency known as Gemcoin.
Though he declined requests for an interview, via text messaging Wuo said he told George Klau, the CEO of Arcadia-based 24 HD Surveillance, to remove his name from documents filed with the California Secretary of State.
Wuo also indicated that Klau agreed to remove the councilman’s name and address from the company’s state filings, and that Klau was unaware of who entered Wuo’s information in the document that the Secretary of State’s office approved in March 2014 and confirms the company is currently active.
Klau could not be reached for comment.
The “statement of information” document surfaced at the Arcadia City Council meeting Tuesday when resident David Arvizu referenced it in his presentation during the conclave’s public comments segment.
The document lists Wuo and two Arcadia businessmen as principals in the limited liability corporation that purports to sell security camera systems. Steve Chen is the head of USFIA Inc. and Alliance Financial Group, which are the parent companies behind the Gemcoin virtual currency. Solomon Sakurada, who also goes by the name Solomon Yang, also has ties to Gemcoin, Chen and Wuo through the U.S. China Consultation Association, or UCCA.
The document shows 24 HD Surveillance’s address to be 135 E. Live Oak Ave., which is the same Arcadia address for Chen’s companies and UCCA.
Wuo was traveling out of state and did not attend the council meeting.
In a text message Wuo noted that connections he may have to Chen and Gemcoin “[do] not have anything to do with city business.”
In a late-June interview with Arcadia Weekly Wuo downplayed his connections to Chen, Gemcoin and the assortment of Chen-affiliated entities based at the Live Oak Avenue office complex. Wuo denied having ongoing financial ties or business relationships with Chen, claiming in the past he only did real estate consulting for the entrepreneur.
City Manager Dominic Lazzaretto would not comment on Wuo’s affiliation with Chen or Gemcoin but he did explain the city’s stance on the investment product, which in recent weeks has drawn vocal criticism from investors who claim to have been swindled.
On Aug. 28 a Chinese-language newspaper reported that a sizable group of protesters showed up at a USFIA event in Ontario.
“The City Attorney, Police Chief, and I regularly review all concerns related to the GemCoin issue,” Lazzaretto said via email. “To date, we have not discovered any direct evidence of criminal activity associated with the Arcadia-based company, nor has the Police Department received any reports of fraud or other illegal activity associated with the business. Anyone with specific information of criminal activity associated with this business, or any other business in the City of Arcadia, is encouraged to contact the Arcadia Police Department to file a police report so the matter can be promptly investigated.”