Talk about padding your resume.
A Hong Kong-based insurance broker lobbied to get onto Forbes Billionaires list by claiming he held a stake in a Formula 1 racing team, and owned a $250 million Champagne collection and a five-star resort hotel — to go with his half-dozen luxury homes around the world.
He’s also supposedly a Harvard Business School graduate to boot.
But the boasts made by Calvin Lo were a far cry from the truth, Forbes found after a thorough investigation.
Lo relentlessly marketed himself as a mogul with a 10-figure net worth — even though his family’s fortune is estimated to be less than $200 million combined, Forbe reported.
As part of his campaign to be included on the list of billionaires, Lo presented himself to Forbes as CEO and owner of R.E. Lee International, “the world’s largest life insurance broker” with some $1 billion in premiums.
Lo also reportedly claimed to be the founder of R.E. Lee Capital, an asset manager with between $8 billion and $10 billion in assets.
He told Forbes he was “said to be Asia’s largest investor and collector of champagnes and one of the first owners of a Gulfstream G650 private jet in Asia.”
Lo also claimed to the magazine that he was one of the owners of the prestigious Williams Formula 1 racing team.
Instead of checkered flags, Lo only raised red flags.
Forbes pored over Lo’s financial statements as well as his claims that he bought the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Taipei for $1.2 billion in 2018.
Lo reportedly claimed that he bought the five-star hotel through an entity known as R.E. Lee Octagon, his private investment vehicle.
But Forbes reported that it found no evidence that R.E. Lee Octagon exists as a registered entity in Hong Kong, Singapore, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, or any other jurisdiction.
The magazine reported that it found a one-page website with a single email address. The website has since been taken down, according to Forbes.
Lo claimed to Forbes that he attended Harvard Business School, though there are no records confirming anyone by that name attended the institution, according to the report.
He also told Forbes that he owned property in Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, London, Vancouver and Los Angeles.
But when pressed on the matter, Lo revised the number to five properties and provided addresses to four homes in Hong Kong and one in Singapore.
According to Forbes, public records indicate that two of the properties are listed under his parents’ name while the others belong to other people.
Forbes did confirm the existence of R.E. Lee Capital, whose chairwoman is Lo’s mother, Regina Lee.
But R.E. Lee Capital told Forbes that his mother’s involvement “should not be misconstrued as an association between Mr. Lo and our company.”
R.E. Lee Capital also told Forbes that it does not have anywhere near the sum of between $8 billion and $10 billion in assets that Lo claimed.
While Lo claimed that R.E. Lee International brokered some $1 billion worth of insurance sales, Forbes estimated that the company is actually worth around $60 million.
According to Forbes, it is unclear who owns the company, which was bought out by his mother in 2015.
Regina Lee and her husband, Francis Lo, own at least two apartments in a ritzy part of Hong Kong as well as a condo in Vancouver and an office building housing the insurance company.
But the family isn’t anywhere near as wealthy as Lo claims, according to Forbes.
A law firm representing Lo told Forbes that “all insinuations that our client has been dishonest, untruthful or otherwise unethical are hereby categorically denied by him.”
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