This all starts out somewhat mundane. Luis Felipe Perez was born in Havana, Cuba in 1972 and subsequently lived with his family in Miami, Florida. In 1977, Perez went on to the Gemological Institute of America to learn the study of gems and precious stones after graduating high school in 1990. In 1995, he opened his first retail jewelry store, quickly establishing a large base of private and wholesale clients. Soon after, he followed his success by moving into the business of diamonds and wholesale and the designing of his own collection. Perez established himself as one of the most successful independent private jewelers in the country, and became the president and sole owner of Florida's Lucky Star Diamonds, Inc. and Luis Felipe Jewelry Design Corp.
While we would have loved to see Perez's life story headed for a happy, inspirational, Hollywood ending -- something like a Cuban-American version of the movie Rudy, such was not to be. Unfortunately, Perez's successful independent private jewelry business became a struggling jewelry business. Then things went off the deep end.
In order to finance his struggling jewelry businesses, Perez began offering investors no-risk collateralized promissory notes promising annual returns of 18% to 36% a year, paid in monthly installments. Perez allegedly told prospective investors, all acquaintances of his, that he would pay the interest from the proceeds of his jewelry business. This doesn't end well. Perez is civilly and criminally charged with fraudulently raising approximately $40 million from approximately 35 investors, predominately Hispanics living in South Florida.
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The world is changing. Quickly. And it is taking a form that many of us no longer recognize. What better proof could I offer than to report about a recent United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) case against a Bermuda holding company based in Singapore, which is a subsidiary of a People's Republic of China holding company, which trades on the New York Stock Exchange.
Chew on that for a while. Draw up a flowchart. Scratch your head. Smile. Shrug your shoulders. Welcome to the brave new world.
In June 2007, CYI finance personnel learned that the January 2006 adjusting entry was erroneous when an accountant in the GYMCL's finance department proposed a partial reversal of the adjusting entry. CYI's Audit Committee was informed of the issue and hired outside counsel to conduct an internal investigation of the issue. Following a preliminary investigation, CYI publicly disclosed in August 2007 that it was conducting an investigation into a possible accounting error and that "Rmb 168 million . . . may have to be reversed."
On May 30, 2008, CYI filed an amended Form 20-F which reversed the entire January 2006 adjusting entry and restated its financial results for 2005, thus reporting a $4 million net annual loss instead of the previously reported $8.5 million net income (a decrease of approximately $12.5 million).