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Norman Hsu, Who ARE You?

Norman Hsu

Hsu sad. Photo: Getty Images

The story of Norman Hsu, the Democratic fund-raiser whose recent arrest created a whole heck of a mess for politicos like Hillary Clinton, gets ever more awesome. For those just tuning in, Hsu was supposed to go to prison for three years back in 1992 for grand theft, but he instead decided to blow off the sentence and fashion a life for himself as a supposed apparel executive and big-time political donor with a flashy Soho apartment and connections to all the right people. And he totally got away with it for fifteen years, until he was arrested last week on an Amtrak. We find Hsu intriguing, not only because of his amazing forehead but because it is just so interesting when people get away with big-ass crimes for a long time. We can’t even, like, jaywalk without getting a ticket. Anyway! Hsu had his court date today, wherein he was extradited back to California, and perhaps in honor of that, WWD has a big story that fills in some of the questions about his background. Before he became a big-time political donor and “apparel executive” for, he told people, luxury brands like Prada, Hsu spent a chunk of the eighties importing menswear, “driving a sportscar,” and generally yupping it up out in L.A. Though much of his life is still a mystery, WWD did manage to dig up some interesting details. After the jump, a few Norman Hsu Fun Facts.

• Hsu went to Wharton, furthering the notion that Penn’s business school breeds a special kind of person.
• The Ponzi scheme he was accused of running in California had to do with the buying and selling of, of all things, latex gloves.
• “His most distinguishing feature was a nervous twitch.”
• When he left Los Angeles in the eighties, he left in his wake a plethora of dramatic rumors. “He disappeared under very mysterious circumstances,” a former colleague told WWD. “The wives’ tale was there was a hit on him and that’s why he beat it out of town, and we never heard from him again.”
• Ron Burkle does not know him, alright?.
• And neither does Prada, which Hsu claimed his business, Source Financial, helped finance: “Prada has never worked with this gentleman and we never intended to work with him,” Prada spokesman Tomaso Galli told the magazine. “We have no knowledge of him and no interest in working with him and we have no proposition from him in our hands.”

Oh, snap. It’s really true that no one can administer a smackdown quite like a fashion flack.

Shadowy Fund-raiser: Past of Norman Hsu Traced to Men’s Wear [NYT]

Norman Hsu, Who ARE You?