SAN FRANCISCO — The president of Pacific Atlantic Trading Co. is being sought on bank fraud charges that could involve as much as $10 million, authorities said Friday.
FBI special agent Richard Held said a no-bail arrest warrant was issued for 64-year-old Peter Chiulun Wong of San Francisco as the result of investigation into allegedly bogus business dealings by Wong's company with several banks.
Wong allegedly operated a fraudulent bill of loading scheme involving several banks in the San Francisco Bay Area from December, 1987, until last month, said the criminal complaint filed against him.
If convicted, Wong could face up to five years in jail and a $250,000 fine.
According to Held, an investigation has shown that Wong and his various companies owe various vendors millions of dollars. He also said that the Pacific Atlantic Trading Co. was forced into involuntary bankruptcy by Imperial Bank in Southern California in a filing with the U.S. District Bankruptcy Court in San Francisco.
He said a complaint charging Wong with bank fraud was filed before U.S. District Court Magistrate F. Steele Langford on Sept. 29, the same day FBI agents searched Pacific Atlantic Trading offices at Embarcadero Center.
Whereabouts of both Wong and his wife, Dorothy Sienyien Chao are unknown, Held said.
According to an affidavit filed in U.S. District Court, FBI agent Patrick K. Murphy said Arian Ardie, a credit officer with the Bank of Trade in San Francisco said Wong and his wife submitted phony bills of loading that the bank relied on in making payments to him.
Ardie said the bills were all fictitious, having been issued by All-Oceans Express Inc., a company that has been out of business since December, 1984.
Ardie said that on Sept. 19, the bank discovered the Pacific Atlantic Trading Co. account had been thoroughly depleted. He said bank employees made repeated attempts to contact Wong, but were told he was out of town.