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Spotlight Was Good for Business

The controversy over Mayor Tom Bradley’s business ties with Far East National Bank may be costing the mayor plenty in investigations and unwelcome press, but Far East says all the publicity is like money in the bank.

In a press release announcing “record earnings” for the first six months of the year, Far East Chairman Henry Hwang says “business is better than ever. All the unsolicited publicity from the press has not affected our business at all.” In fact, he continued, “business is so good that the bank is opening another branch this year.”

Hwang explained in the release that “we have been flooded by sympathetic letters and phone calls from customers and people throughout the state.”

Far East and Hwang became embroiled in controversy earlier this year when it was disclosed that the bank obtained several million dollars in deposits from Los Angeles while Bradley served as a paid consultant to the bank. In an interview at the time, Hwang told the times, “you know, you generally have to pay people for . . . you know, for services rendered.”

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Both the city attorney and the city controller are investigating Bradley’s ties to the bank as part of a larger probe into his personal finances and allegations of conflicts of interest.


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