Long Beach Post reports that a federal judge froze $2.4 million in assets for Urban Commons Queensway founders, Taylor Woods and Howard Wu. This freeze in assets in based on Wu & Woods using COVID relief funds that were meant for the Queen Mary for “wrongful purposes.”
U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Christopher Sontchi stated that Woods and Wu applied for the protection program loan without their company’s consent and that the two men “misrepresented or lied” to the United States government so they could receive money meant as a protection program loan for the Queen Mary ship, but use it for wrongful purposes instead. Woods says the loan was applied for by mistake and the two said, “There was never any intention to do anything inappropriate by any party involved”. Sontchi contradicts this statement by saying the two men knowingly made false statements in order to receive the loan from the Small Business Association, transferred the money to another company, and then made the funds essentially disappear.
From the article:
“The judge also noted that attorneys for Urban Commons Queensway have submitted to the bankruptcy court evidence of multiple lawsuits and judgments against Woods and Wu for ‘fraud, breach of repayment obligations, and other loan defaults.'”
This fraudulent evidence includes Woods & Wu falsely promising to develop a hotel in order to recieve the lease to the Queen Mary in November 2016, ignoring warnings from a city auditor and approving a $23 million bond to jumpstart repairs on the ship, and essentially driving their company into the ground and into bankruptcy.
The Urban Commons Queensway bankruptcy is due to the exorbitant losses felt by many who were connected to the company, some who poured donations and savings into the Queen Mary. Many of these investors had to resort to filing lawsuits against the company, which forced the company to file for bankruptcy.
The Queen Mary is now back in the hands of the city for the first time in 40 years. The ship is still closed due to the repairs needed to the ship and the COVID-19 pandemic. Many Long Beach locals are upset by the behavior of Woods & Wu and feel it’s a betrayal of the communities trust.