April 23, 2013 |
Jianwei Li and two other wealthy Chinese businessmen thought they had a sure thing when they wired $1 million each to a California firm that had promised to build a fine Chinese restaurant in the Bay Area city of San Bruno. The project had an alluring budget with multiple lucky 8s - $5,888,888 - and the three investors were assured it would create enough jobs to obtain the real prize: a U.S. green card. Months passed and nothing happened. When Li's friends cornered the project developer one evening at a karaoke bar, the man, identified in court papers as Sammy Lee, apparently devised a fantastic escape.
April 15, 2013 |
John Galardi has died, placing a period on one of the fast-food industry's greatest rags-to-riches stories. The Wienerschnitzel founder once said, simply: "I had to be wealthy. " At age 19, the Midwestern boy of humble origins had never eaten out or taken a vacation. At 25, he was a millionaire. In a 2012 article, the Los Angeles Times' Tiffany Hsu outlined Galardi's rise in the industry, writing: "John Galardi knows his own mind and isn't afraid of hard work. " Galardi himself said: "I realized really young that what I wanted in life was to do what I want in the way that I want.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 14, 2013 |
They hail from New York, the Silicon Valley, Arkansas, Los Angeles and elsewhere. They are a rich and diverse lot, including Republicans, liberals, Hollywood notables and international corporate executives. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, L.A. philanthropist Eli Broad, Netflix founder Reed Hastings, pomegranate juice titan Lynda Resnick, anti-Obama mega-donor A. Jerrold Perenchio and the widow of Steve Jobs. Together, they smashed records for spending by outside groups in last month's L.A. Board of Education elections.
April 12, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The nonprofit advocacy group that was formed to back President Obama's agenda, which was sharply criticized as a potential conduit for wealthy interests to influence the White House, has been financed overwhelmingly by thousands of small donors since its launch in late January. Organizing for Action took in just three six-figure donations through the end of March. The biggest, $250,000, came from a son of Warren Buffett's longtime business partner. Only about two dozen of the 770 fundraisers who collected major donations for Obama's reelection gave to the organization, according to a Los Angeles Times analysis.
April 9, 2013 |
They were planning to spend nearly $500,000 on a home theater. What was an additional $35,000 to show first-run movies? When Ken and Carol Schultz began remodeling their 10,000-square-foot San Diego-area residence, they spared no expense on a screening room. The couple tricked it out with custom-built armchairs with heat and massage functions, and a Runco 3-D-capable projector with a price of about $100,000. But the most unusual feature of the theater is a $35,000 device that offers 24-hour rentals of first-run movies.
April 6, 2013 |
Actor Rob Lowe is the face of InsideHook L.A., a free, curated email newsletter announcing special experiences to men too busy to find those experiences themselves. The newsletter, which launched in Los Angeles last week, is the latest effort from capital investment firm Pilot Group, whose founders Bob Pittman and Andy Russell have also had a hand in shaping the successful email newsletters DailyCandy, Thrillist and Tasting Table. Lowe spent a recent afternoon indulging in InsideHook-delivered experiences - hovering high above the ocean off Newport Beach using a water-propelled jet pack, guzzling organic juice from his favorite Santa Monica food truck and dining at Santa Monica's new members-only club 41 Ocean.