…And the story of a flamboyant, Interpol-wanted Chinese con artist hiding in plain sight in North Hollywood
[UPDATE: The Wall Street Journal in front-page news on May 23, 2019, describes Shi Jianxiang business ventures in US, including Fight to Fame, and states the following with respect to Mike Tyson’s involvement:]
Fight to Fame (“F2F”) (in Chinese: 一战成名 (YiZhan ChengMing)) is a blockchain project that is supposed to be founded and supported by Mike Tyson (yes, the actual, world-renowned icon and legend “Iron” Mike Tyson), with a bunch of well-spoken, polished salespeople traveling the world to different blockchain conferences and family office gatherings seeking millions of dollars in funding (and an eye to a future initial coin offering (ICO) or Security Token Offering (STO)) of so-called “Tyson Token.”
Only problem is: it’s a total fraud.
First off, Mike Tyson is not part of the project (see more below). Second, the actual founder – although not necessarily the creative brains behind the idea — and operator of the project is an Interpol-wanted, financial fraudster taking it on the lam from China, named Jianxiang Shi (using the alias “Morgan” or “Dr. Morgan”) (in Chinese: 施建祥). Third, the supposed attachments and partners of the project are all pure dreams of the company but being peddled as reality to investors, institutions, and family offices.
Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!!:
The Shady, Actual Owner and Operator — Jianxiang Shi (施建祥) (aka Morgan)
Jianxiang Shi (aka Morgan) is wanted by Interpol and the Chinese regulatory authorities “on charges of fraud and illegal fundraising that caused losses to investors of more than 10 billion yuan [about USD1.5 Billion]… [and]… conspired with executives to illegally raise funds from the public through a Ponzi scheme.”
Morgan finances, manages, and controls a slew of companies for him to hide behind, including, but not limited to, Moregain Capital Group, Moregain Pictures, Inc., Sunland Entertainment, LLC, Shilong Film Investment, Inc., Moregain Lending, LLC. But, for the purposes of the F2F project, Morgan also is the controller and beneficial owner of the companies that run F2F, i.e., the U.S.-China Motion Picture Association (UCMPA), a California corporation, and Fight To Fame BMS Holding, Ltd., a Cayman limited liability company.
However, Morgan’s name is not mentioned on any of the corporate documents of those companies, for, he doesn’t want to be personally liable for the activities of the company wrongdoings. Not a bad idea, in fact, as a cadre of Morgan’s former associates and underlings were recently sentenced in China in January 2019 for following Morgan’s instructions and carrying out his orders, with two individuals receiving sentences of life in prison.
Mike Tyson: not a fan, and NOT on board
Mike Tyson cease and desist letter sent to Jianxiang Shi (Morgan) (and former associates):
Now that most of his Chinese associates are in jail in Shanghai, Morgan has a new cadre of con artists that work with him in the US — blinded, it seems, by the perception that Mr. Shi will provide them some of the ill-gotten gains he amassed in China — including the “Chairman” Tim Smithe (See below). Mr. Smithe is the Chairman in name only, allowing the fugitive and fundraising-fraud-charged Mr. Shi to remain in the shadows. With full knowledge that Mike Tyson is not in fact part of the project (as the cease & desist letter above shows), Mr. Smithe nevertheless professes that Mr. Tyson is a founder and whole-hearted supporter of the F2F project. This is unscrupulous misrepresentation at its worst.
At the “8th Global Family Office Investment Summit” in Dubai recently, Mr. Smithe continues to misrepresent that Mike Tyson is still part of the project (see at video time 1:55). At time 4:36 on the video, he further lies through this teeth with: “100 million tokens at 30 cents each already spoken for… round 2 at 80-cents each, another 100,000 already spoken for.”
[UPDATE: as of about May 20, 2019, the Ritossa Family Office (which runs the Global Family Office event) wisely removed the above-referenced video from their YouTube channel. See end of this article for previously-taken screenshots (with YouTube-provided transcript) of the pertinent pronouncements herein referenced]
In fact, even Mr. Smithe’s bonafides as a “2-time Emmy award winning TV Writer and Producer” (see at 1:40 same video) are suspect. See if you can find him listed at Emmys.com or on a complete list of Emmy Award winners on Wikipedia. One can readily see why Mr. Shi has chosen such an individual to serve as the face of the project. (Mr. Smithe also describes himself as “An early enthusiast of Crypto, he began as CMO of Malta Cryptocurrency Exchange in 2017.” Aside from the self-contradictory idea that an “early enthusiast” would have began their crypto involvement as late as 2017, more concerning, however, is that the “Malta Cryptocurrency Exchange” doesn’t even seem to exist – par for the course, it seems, with Fight to Fame.)
Astoundingly, “Chairman Tim,” as he refers to himself, continues to use this picture (at left) as a headshot in his LinkedIn and WhatsApp profiles blatantly misrepresenting Mr. Tyson’s involvement in the project. This photo was taken, in fact, on the very day that Mr. Tyson first saw his video being exhibited (see below) and decided to cut all ties with Fight to Fame and UCMPA — and Mr. Smithe is well aware.
[Update: After receiving questions on social media regarding Mr. Tyson’s involvement in the project, Mr. Smithe suddenly removed Mr. Tyson’s picture as his headshot from LinkedIn (and WhatsApp) at 4:20pm pst on May 17, 2019]
Accompanying “Chairman Tim” to the Dubai “8th Global Family Office Investment Summit” to deceive investors was another of the Morgan enterprise co-conspirators, Manjia Zhao (aka Coco). Also possessing full knowledge that Mike Tyson is not involved with F2F, Ms. Zhao is in fact more important in the organizational structure than Mr. Smithe, serving presently as Shi Jianxiang’s fixer and right-hand person, holding the positions, including, but not necessarily limited to, the following: the CFO of UCMPA, de facto chief executive of Moregain Capital (listed also, oddly, as the agent for service of process), Director and Secretary of Moregain Pictures, Inc., (see screenshot of the company website, below) and a money “finder” for Fight to Fame BMS Holdings Ltd. (Cayman) — and all with no cryptocurrency/blockchain or entertainment executive experience whatsoever.
The Tyson Video
Morgan and his minions, including Mr. Smithe, have been trotting around a garage band-style video they got Mike Tyson to record on the fly in early 2018 – without, that is, Mr. Tyson realizing the actual implications of the token scheme into which he was getting himself involved. After Mr. Tyson saw the video on display at an event in February 2019 in Burbank, California, he was understandably shocked and immediately had his lawyer send “Dr. Morgan” (i.e., Shi Jianxiang (and former associates)) a cease and desist letter (the first page of which is pictured above).
Bottom line: Mike Tyson not a fan; and Mr. Shi and accomplices selling investors a bill of goods.
1. The Terminator
The F2F Whitepaper (provided to me by one of Morgan’s salespeople) shows some pretty wild claims.
First, take a look at the individuals that the Whitepaper gives the impression are involved with the project: the Terminatorhimself, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Stallone, The Rock, Jet Li.
Nope, not a one (although at least the Whitepaper does mention “to be invited”, which seems to be a translation of “in our wildest dreams”)
2. World Boxing Council (WBC)
On page 17 of the Whitepaper, the claim is made that the World Boxing Council (WBC) is a backer and sponsor. There’s even a picture of a signed letter(!). The only problem, however (if you look only bit more closely) you can see that the signed letter is with “WBC MuayThai”, not WBC. Guess what, they’re just a little different, to put it mildly (Google it.)
In fact, on the WBC website itself, WBC Muay Thai isn’t even listed as one of the official federations (see below). Ouch!
3. But Wait… There’s more!
Gentle Reader: At this point, you probably don’t need me to inform you that none (that’s correct, none) of those companies on the several pages of the F2F Whitepaper is actually a partner or attached in any meaningful way.
The Texas Two Step: UCMPA and Fight To Fame BMS Holdings
In the event that anyone was still uncertain about whether Shi Jianxiang (aka Morgan) was indeed the owner — and not-so-smooth operator of — the companies that manage the F2F project (although the Tyson cease and desist letter, above, listing “Dr. Morgan” should be conclusive),
you can see here below that the U.S.-China Motion Picture Association (UCMPA) (formerly, the “U.S.-China Motion Picture Union”) was opened by Qinghua Chen (aka Quinn) (pictured at left), Morgan’s long-time friend and accountant.
The initial business address and registered agent for service of process listed the home address of Morgan, i.e., 10580 West Stallion Ranch Road, Shadow Hills, CA 91040. (Seems like someone unfortunately forgot that these items are public for a California company registration, and remain so in perpetuity…)
Fight to Fame BMS Holdings, Ltd. which is located in the Cayman Islands (a locale well known for shielding assets and protecting owner information, generally), has as its owner a very close friend of Morgan’s who regularly shuttles between Hong Kong and the US, whose name is Yiling Gao (aka Lisa Gao) (pictured at right) — like Mr. Smithe, however, another puppet of Mr. Shi’s.
(The legal complaint (referenced below) filed against Mr. Shi, in fact, alleges a money laundering scheme involving Ms. Gao.)
But maybe even more interesting is where Ms. Gao (again, putative sole director of the F2F project company) now resides. As it turns out, Lisa Gao is also now living at the same address as Morgan (see immediately below) — the very same address, that is, as listed on the original UCMPA Articles of Incorporation (just above in this Section), and the same address, by the way, where the pictures at the top of this post were taken of Mr. Shi. (and thank you sincerely to the insider who sent me the following pics)
And speaking of addresses, it should also be noted that the address, 120 S. Victory Blvd. Burbank, CA (listed on the Tyson cease & desist, above) is indeed the presently-listed business address for UCMPA (see below).
A match made in… Republican National Committee breakfast fundraiser heaven?!
In fact — through information obtained from Morgan’s former associates — the way Morgan (and his side-kick Qinghua Chen (aka Quinn)) were able to obtain pictures with President Trump in 2017 was through Cindy Yang (Li Yang). Yes, the same Cindy Yang that was/is the focus of an investigation regarding illegal campaign contributions. She is also the former owner of the spa that got Robert Kraft in trouble for his alleged prostitution solicitation.
Ms. Yang [in denial of her selling access to Trump]: “Nobody else have happen… only me. I think because I am Chinese, you know. A Chinese Republican. That’s the issue.” Let us count the number of logical flaws in such blurb.
Caveat Emptor Squared
Presales of cryptocurrency coins and the raising of large sums of money as instruments to assist in the development of new applications and business startups is an astounding and (potentially) amazingly advantageous recent development in our society. It is sad and unfortunate, however (but not necessarily surprising), that wherever there arise new ways to make money (and the regulatory regime is lagging), the scam artists arrive in droves. (Some studies say upwards of 80% of ICOs are scams, with only a small percentage reaching an exchange.)
Not an exception to the 80% finding, mentioned above, and yet another example of a project damaging to the reputation of ICOs and cryptos, generally, “Fight To Fame” is rather laughable for the degree to which it exaggerates and outright lies about the structure, ownership, essence, and content of the project. Consequently, it shouldn’t take a savvy investor more than just a few minutes and some pointed questions to see right through the F2F Jianxiang Shi façade.
However, most con-artists involved in these types of fraudulent ventures – and the mastermind of this particular venture having shown himself to be particularly adept at parting good people from their hard-earned money – are those with glib tongues and quite formidable persuasive technique (see the Smithe videos above). So, one can only advise: buyer beware!
Lastly — and as if even needing mention at this point — there is no plan (or any expertise in the Morgan/UCMPA/F2F group) on how to actually produce the type and scale of TV reality show that the grand F2F plan calls for, or even how the blockchain really works. The sole plan, it would seem — and in keeping with Mr. Shi’s business ethos, judging from his China swindling days — is to raise money (and lots of it) and then go into hiding. The only question left to ask, therefore: to which country does Morgan next flee.
[Footnote: Some of the information and facts included herein can be found in an amended complaint filed against Mr. Shi, his various companies and accomplices, in Superior Court of Los Angeles on April 12, 2019, case number 19BBCV00181.]
The following are screenshots taken of the video (before it was removed from YouTube) at the 8th Global Family Office Summit in Dubai.