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The Chris Samuelson Thread

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The Chris Samuelson Thread

Post by smetro on Sat May 21, 2016 10:28 am


This guy seems to be involved. He was involved in the takeover at reading - maybe Im getting paranoid, but it doesn't make good reading - and there are similarities with the proposed takeover at villa

http://www.getreading.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/chris-samuelson-former-reading-fc-11355076


Basically it looks like he initially supplies the funds in some form of loan - but hides behind a frontman - after it all goes through he [Samuelson] runs the show and the frontman is rarley seen - in readings case he just disappeared leaving the club with massive debts.....

So while everyone is digging the dirt on Dr Tony - you won't find any because he has been selected as the credible face of the takeover - but thats all he is. - I actually think Samuelson is the real buyer\backer with borrowed money from god knows where.

I think at the very least we need to know what his involvement is.....

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Re: The Chris Samuelson Thread

Post by BillytheKid on Sat May 21, 2016 10:36 am

I must admit i don't like the sound of this Samuelson near Villa already involved in dodgy deals with football clubs, strange how he is involved i admit and yet i have been hopeful in Xia, certainly would prefer to know at least why he is involved here to say the least and understand why he is mentioned!
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Re: The Chris Samuelson Thread

Post by deadbuzzardalive on Sat May 21, 2016 10:43 am

Xia might be selected as the credible face for the buyer. But the buyer is the Recon Group not Samuelson. And they (Recon) are much too big of a company to act as a front for someone like Samuelson.

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Re: The Chris Samuelson Thread

Post by Trotters on Sat May 21, 2016 1:20 pm

It's clear that Samuelson and his partner (I can't recall the name but it's on one of the shirts in the Villa change room pic) were the movers and shakers that made this deal happen. And no doubt they presented Tony Xia in the best light possible.

Don't care. It was always likely that there was going to be an intermediary.

But what I'd do care about is that, like at whole things was engineered to give him the power. Get to fuck!

Could this be the reason that Bernie and King left town? If they've advised Randy that this Samuelson bloke has form and is best avoided and Lerner chose to ignore them, then it's highly disturbing. But King did come out and allude that good things were about to happen and I'm sure he'd not say that if he thought the club were being sold down the river to a shyster.

Still, Samuelson and Wyness are names I'd rather not have to read about again in association with our club.
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Re: The Chris Samuelson Thread

Post by lukevilla on Sun May 22, 2016 8:10 pm

Christopher Samuelson, set to be named as executive chairman of a new Villa structure, http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/sport/football/7167688/David-Moyes-in-line-for-Aston-Villa-manager-job-in-shock-return-to-English-football.html?CMP=spklr-_-Editorial-_-TWITTER-_-TheSunFootball-_-20160522-_-Football-_-474818274-_-Imageandlink
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Re: The Chris Samuelson Thread

Post by smetro on Mon May 23, 2016 6:51 am

The question for me is what is Xia role. ?
It seems like Samuelson is supplying the money from god knows where.
I doubt we will here much from Xia when this goes through.

Samuelson will effectively own and run Aston Villa
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Re: The Chris Samuelson Thread

Post by Trotters on Mon May 23, 2016 8:23 am

Bollocks, I'd forgotten about this thread and dumped all that crap in the takeover thread.

At a guess, Xia is the frontman put there to highlight his money (may be real, may be not), his achievements (some of which seem exaggerated), his connections to the Govt (this is a big one and doesn't seemed to be faked at all. What will be his role if Samuelson becomes CEO? Good question.

In the past Samuelson seems to made use of his time funnelling money into and out of tax havens and invested on behalf of people who maybe not wish to be know. It's entirely possible he's now the conduit between various Chinese investors (maybe even the Govt) and Aston Villa with Xia as the translator/wheel greaser/contacts man.

That's the best case scenario.

The worst case is Blues-like.
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Re: The Chris Samuelson Thread

Post by Trotters on Mon May 23, 2016 8:34 am

I'm going to move all the media articles on him out of the takeover thread and into here...
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Re: The Chris Samuelson Thread

Post by Trotters on Mon May 23, 2016 8:35 am

Samuelson, from everything I have read, is a dodgy sugarbag that needs to kept well away from our great club. Try this on for size:




Chris Samuelson denies allegations of money-laundering

By Matt Scott
20 April 2012

Christopher Samuelson, a furtive Swiss financier, is in the business of mass-production of offshore and dummy companies for his wealthy and super-wealthy clients looking to disguise the identities and secrete assets. One of Samuelson's clients is Inna Gudavadze, nicked as the "Black Widow" amidst the allegations that she was complicit in the murder of her estranged husband, Georgian billionaire investor and philanthropist Badri Patarkatsishvili.



The man fronting the Russian takeover at Reading has been accused in US court papers of being the subject of “multiple high-profile money-laundering investigations”, The Daily Telegraph can reveal.

Chris Samuelson, who has been the spokesman for Anton Zingarevich’s bid for the newly-promoted club, denies the allegations. Samuelson, an offshore financier based in Switzerland, has been named in courts on both sides of the Atlantic as a key former associate of Arkady Patarkatsishvili and his business partner Boris Berezovsky.


According to one deposition uncovered by Daily Telegraph investigations, Patarkatsishvili accused Samuelson of being “a crook” and “a thief and a liar”. Samuelson counters that the sworn statement itself is wrong.

The claims come in the shape of a signed affidavit from the Russo-American lawyer Oxana Adler, who describes herself as having been Patarkatsishvili’s counsel for more than a decade. Adler’s written statement before the Miami division of the US Bankruptcy Court says: “Oxana Adler declares under the penalty of perjury as follows [the existence of] documents showing that Samuelson, for years, has been the subject of multiple high-profile money-laundering investigations in the US and Europe.

“Most prominent were the probes by the French Central Office for Combating Grand Financial Offences (OCRGDF) a principal French governmental agency investigating major financial frauds, and the Economic Investigation Service (FIOD/ECD), the Netherlands money laundering watchdog.

“In the early 2000s Samuelson was also investigated by the FBI in connection with the Bank of New York money laundering scandal.”


Samuelson responded to The Daily Telegraph: “I have no knowledge of being investigated as Adler claims” and described her statement as “farcical”.
The French judicial police, which houses the OCRGDF, said it could neither confirm nor deny Adler’s statement about whether it has investigated Samuelson, since it never passes comment on operational matters. The FIOD/ECD has not responded to the Daily Telegraph’s emails or calls about the allegations since Thursday.

He adds that Adler and her fellow New York lawyer Emanuel Zeltser are giving evidence against him due to the highly acrimonious nature of the dispute over the affairs and assets of the late billionaire Patarkatsishvili.

Denying the allegations, Samuelson says “I am involved in these cases as the trustee of assets that I am trying to recover.”

Three months have passed since the takeover deal was announced as having been agreed in principle with the club’s current owner, John Madejski, yet the buyout has still not been approved by the football authorities.

As revealed in The Daily Telegraph on Thursday, Zingarevich’s Thames Sports Investment vehicle is now the subject of investigations by the Premier League. The Football League’s own inquiries into the new ownership have so far proved inconclusive, and the Premier League took an interest in the matter prior to the club’s promotion from the Championship.


But it is clear Samuelson has long been a close associate of some of the most controversial figures in the Russian super-rich. Samuelson provided corporate services for Berezovsky between 2000 and the time of Patarkatsishvili’s death in 2008.

Berezovsky admitted before the High Court to having been the subject of money-laundering investigations in Switzerland and Holland. He added: “All the investigations are closed because no one reason was finded [sic] that it was money-laundering.”

He claimed there had also been an investigation in France of allegations of money-laundering at a company unconnected to Berezovsky. That company’s affairs were, according to a statement Samuelson made to the New York Times in 1999, managed by Samuelson.

Offshore structures have played a major part in TSI’s attempted takeover at Reading, though, Samuelson states, Berezovsky is not involved.

Samuelson explained: “Thames Sports Investments Ltd is a Gibraltar company established to invest in the sports sector and its first investment is Reading Football Club.

“The beneficial shareholder is only Anton Zingarevich. The company is administered by Finsbury Trust, Gibraltar’s largest trust company. The ownership has been disclosed to RFC and to the Football League.

“Anton is not a UK resident and TSI will be doing other activities in other countries. Some clients want privacy and in some cases it can be mandatory. If you travel to such countries as Brazil or Mexico, you will appreciate that kidnapping and ransom are major concerns for high net worth people.”
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Re: The Chris Samuelson Thread

Post by smetro on Mon May 23, 2016 8:36 am

@Trotters wrote:I'm going to move all the media articles on him out of the takeover thread and into here...

Funnel them here you mean ?
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Re: The Chris Samuelson Thread

Post by Trotters on Mon May 23, 2016 8:36 am

Former Reading FC director Chris Samuelson linked with Bristol Rovers takeover

The Swiss financier is once again working with Phoenix, the American hedge-fund who failed to buy Reading last summer



The American hedge-fund who mounted a failed takeover bid at Reading last summer have been linked with a move to buy Bristol Rovers.

Known by the name of Phoenix, the group is led by Chris Samuelson, the man behind Anton Zingarevich’s disastrous reign at Madejski Stadium.

A former director of Zingarevich's Thames Sports Investment (TSI) company, Samuelson left the Reading board last summer.

But he, along with Phoenix, then tried to buy the club from Sir John Madejski, only to lose out to Khunying Sasima Srivikorn and her Thai consortium.

That news was warmly welcomed by Reading fans, who blamed Samuelson and TSI for the financial crisis which had sent the club spiralling towards administration.

But now, a year down the line, the Swiss financier appears to setting his sights on Bristol Rovers.

According to the Bristol Post, Phoenix have held talks with Gas chairman Nick Higgs, who has been attempting to attract outside investment to the club during the past 12 months.

And Samuelson, who was a guest of the club at Rovers’ play-off semi-final against Forest Green Rovers at the Memorial Stadium last month, is understood to be involved with the latest bid.

But he insists no deal has been reached.

“There is no agreement to buy or to invest in Bristol Rovers,” Samuelson told the Post.

“Whether or not there might be in the future is something I can’t tell you. Who knows?

“I was seen at a game recently, but I was there as the guest of another director and I’ve been looking at probably ten football clubs recently and you could say the same story about all of them.

“I’ve looked at clubs in the Premier League right through to League Two, but there is nothing agreed with any of them.

“The realities of the football business are that you have to have to have deep pockets to do it and you have to understand it.”

Samuelson added: “There are 72 Football League clubs and the one thing they all have in common is that they lose money. Anybody who wants to buy a club in England will want to buy one in the Premier League.

“When you are looking outside of that you have to ascertain the potential of the club and how far it could go towards fulfilling that.

“Where can Bristol Rovers go? It is a nice club with a big support base, but there is the dispute with Sainsbury’s at the moment. A lot depends on who is going to help it.”
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Re: The Chris Samuelson Thread

Post by Trotters on Mon May 23, 2016 8:36 am

http://barejustice.com/news.court.man-in-the-shadows-090211.html

Samuelson, a furtive Swiss financier, is also in the business of mass-production of offshore "trusts" and dummy companies  for his wealthy and super-wealthy clients looking to disguise their real identities and secrete assets, according to court papers. Samuelson operates through his Swiss-based company dubbed 'Mutual Trust'  with satellite offices strategically located in Brunei, Gibraltar, Cyprus, Curacao and other offshore havens. These countries have long been on the U.S. agencies' radar of jurisdictions prone to money laundering.

Mutual Trust's website openly peddles itself as money-launderers’ last sanctuary, stating that while "some banks have volunteered information on accounts held at overseas branches to their domestic tax authorities driven by their own fear of criminal prosecution ... we will not use financial institutions to hold assets on behalf of our clients ... [or] jurisdictions that do not respect and uphold the fundamental right of clients of confidentiality". Although Samuelson does not identify which jurisdictions "do not respect our fundamental right of confidentiality" it is clear that he is referring to the United States.

Samuelson's client list includes a wide-spectrum of notorious international characters from shadowy Arab sheikhs to fugitive Russian billionaire Boris Berezovsky, wanted by Interpol for money laundering and participation in international organized crime. Samuelson himself, for years, has been the subject of multiple high profile money laundering investigations in the US and Europe. Most prominent were the probes by the French Central Office for Combating Grand Financial Offences (OCRGDF) a principal French governmental agency investigating major financial frauds, and the Economic Investigation Service (FIOD/ECD), the Netherlands money laundering watchdog, court filings show. In the early 2000s Samuelson was also investigated by the FBI in connection with the Bank of New York money laundering scandal. Samuelson has never been arrested, indicted or convicted...

"Money laundering is extremely difficult to prove or prosecute" said one expert familiar with Samuelson’s techniques, "and Chris knows how to walk on water, he is the ultimate 'man in the shadows'", he added.

The "silent partner" - -

According to court documents, Samuelson set up and managed a network of shell companies and offshore accounts for MBC principals. Through  these dummy corporations and anonymous accounts, the illicit gains have been spirited out of country. One witness testified under oath that in 2003 Steve Steiner met with her in the New York Waldorf Astoria Hotel to tout a $15 million investment by her family. Steiner depicted Samuelson as MBC's "silent partner".

According to the sworn testimony of another witness, after Steiner was indicted on Federal money laundering and numerous other charges in January 2009, Samuelson panicked. He requested of the witness to urgently turn over to Samuelson numerous MBC related documents, in an apparent effort to discard or alter evidence against Samuelson. "Chris asked me to give him documentation, all papers that I could find" the witness testified "something happened and Steve Steiner was indicted", the witness continued, "it is very important now because I don't want to follow Steve Steiner".
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Re: The Chris Samuelson Thread

Post by Trotters on Mon May 23, 2016 8:36 am

http://www.themoscowtimes.com/business/article/banking-lessons-for-future-oligarchs/223225.html

That one is a piece on Russian oligarchs and how Samuelson assisted them in hiding taxes from the state.

He really is a piece of work and will spell trouble for us. We know he was part of the deal to get Tony Xia into place but if he's to be on the board then this could be a very very bad scene.
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Re: The Chris Samuelson Thread

Post by Trotters on Mon May 23, 2016 8:36 am

From a Reading forum:

Aston Vilhahaha  by maffff » 19 May 2016 11:44

Well this could be fun.

Chris Samuelson is on the board of Director at Villa. We know all about him and his friends at Vibrac. Money laundering allegations connected to his main business is in offshore banking and the setting up of shell companies. (https://t.co/0vGUf8E0px) Laughing, the sham of an Everton takeover (with Wyness), as well as nearly destroying us then trying to get back into us through the American consortium. Then afterwards tried to get his grubby little mitts on Bristol Rovers.

We're talking about a guy who's main tactic seems to be : Finds a company to loan from > cannot pay back loan > unknown company then effectively controls the club > he then tries to get the company to sell to him again (all whilst delaying/putting off other investment leading to us having to sell our better players or go to admin).

If any Villa fans read this - if you ever see the name Vibrac, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vibrac_Corporation/, involved with you in the Championship, fear for your club.

Searching on Xia is interesting - There are claims out there that he says he was a Harvard PhD and even "professor", and used that to obtain a lot of funding for his company. But actually he just obtained Master's degree there. His PhD career is on a "permanent leave". He also claimed to be hired into a world-class company as vice president early in his career, which is nonsense (he registered the company himself). Also he's known to cheat and lie a lot to everybody around him, e.g. constantly betraying his ex wife who "cut relation with parents, had 4 abortions, and worked illegally when still a student" to support his Master's career, promising great compensations for people he hired and never fulfilling them etc. Load of information is here if the page will translate Chinese for you http://www.xys.org/dajia/xiajt.html …

Whilst somebody who bluffs a lot is not necessarily bad businessman, this guy seems to have some fundamental moral issues and god knows what he's going to do with Villa  Laughing !

Also, http://finance.ifeng.com/a/20151019/14025162_0.shtml …. His Ruikang (or Recon) investment group has registered capital of Rmb 50 million (~5M quid). The article basically implies fraud in his network of companies, also fraud in his personal history.

Wouldn't shock me if Xia's role is to milk the subsidies from Chinese government, strip anything of valuable then watch the team slip down the table due to 'poor performances' on the pitch.

Nervous times for the Villa fans!
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Re: The Chris Samuelson Thread

Post by Trotters on Mon May 23, 2016 8:36 am

Sorry to flood the page but it makes for interesting reading if Samuelson is pulling the strings...

Reading, tax havens, secrecy and the sale of homely football clubs

The Royals, formed in 1871 at a public meeting in the town's Bridge Street Rooms, are now registered in Gibraltar and owned by the son of a St Petersburg-based billionaire

Reading's promotion under the new ownership of Anton Zingarevich has meant that this season a majority, 11 of the 20 Premier League clubs, are owned by overseas individuals, with several, such as "the Royals", now held ultimately in tax havens. Reading, formed in 1871 at a public meeting in the town's Bridge Street Rooms, are owned by Anton, the 30-year old son of the St Petersburg-based pulp and paper billionaire Boris Zingarevich, via Thames Sports Investments (TSI), registered in Gibraltar.

Siting the shares of companies, including football clubs, in offshore locations such as Gibraltar or the Cayman Islands (the Glazer family's newly registered base for Manchester United) means owners avoid UK capital gains tax and stamp duty, when they sell the shares at a profit in the future. Such havens also offer to investors a guarantee of secrecy, about who owns or is involved in companies registered in them. John Christensen, a director of Tax Justice Network, which campaigns against the vast draining of money from tax-paying countries such as Britain, says tax havens should more justifiably be known as "secrecy jurisdictions".

The key figure at Reading in enabling the sale by the outgoing owner, Sir John Madejski, to Zingarevich, agreed in January and finally approved by the Football and Premier Leagues in May, was Christopher Samuelson, a veteran manager of funds in offshore locations. Samuelson is a director of Mutual Trust SA, an investment firm based in Switzerland, which also operates a low tax regime and long tradition of secrecy about banking and financial ownership. On its website,, undergoing reconstruction, Mutual Trust carried the assurance: "Our challenge is to provide our clients with their fundamental rights to privacy of their information and to protect their assets from attack and confiscation … We will not use jurisdictions that do not respect and uphold the fundamental right of clients of confidentiality. Your information is safe in our hands, for always."

Given the intense scrutiny as the game's profile has soared, and the clubs' continuing claims to be at the heart of their local communities, more information about ownership is now revealed than about companies operating less in the public eye. Madejski, who made his own fortune in printing and with the Auto Trader second-hand car catalogue, had long been looking to remove himself from the financial burden of owning a club whose new stadium he built 14 years ago. In the year to June 30 2011, the latest for which accounts are available, Reading made a £5m loss in the Championship and Madejski had personally loaned the club £26m.

Samuelson was approached to see if he could find a buyer and finally he concluded a deal with echoes of the mooted one for Everton in 2004. Then, Anton Zingarevich, 21 at the time, was involved in talks to take over the club, with the money to come from a fund managed by Samuelson based in Brunei. Boris Zingarevich, an industrialist who his representatives say has built a paper company, Ilim, from scratch over 20 years, rather than becoming a billionaire through favourable state sales of assets, like Russia's oligarchs, said he was not interested in English football.

This time Samuelson did deliver a deal to buy Reading, and both Madejski and Samuelson's TSI vehicle have been open about the terms of the deal. TSI bought 51% of the club for £12.7m, and has an option to buy the other 49% for £12.3m. That is £25m to buy a well-run club with a new stadium, now in the Premier League. The deal was one in an increasing tendency for overseas buyers to target clubs in the Championship, where they pay less than for those in the Premier League, and aim to grasp a financial jackpot if they win promotion. Leicester City, bought by the owners of the King Power duty free franchise in Thailand; Cardiff City, owned by Malaysian investors, and Nottingham Forest, bought this summer by the Kuwaiti Al Hasawi family, are in the vanguard of that process.


Madejski agreed his sale, at what many believe is a bargain price for the club he rebuilt, with Reading still in the Championship; he completed for the same figure despite Brian McDermott's side triumphantly claiming promotion, although Samuelson has said Madejski was paid a £5m bonus.

After sundry mishaps, collapses and scandals, both the Premier League and Football League have developed new rules and procedures before approving new owners, and the Football League led the four-month process at Reading. The requirements for owners and directors of clubs, formerly known as the "fit and proper person test", are that anybody on the board or owning more than 30% of a club must not have unspent criminal convictions for dishonesty, be bankrupt or have been involved in the insolvency of two football clubs since 2004. Both leagues now also require proof that the money is there, as committed, to buy the club, and to see a business plan which shows the club will be able to remain solvent and fulfil its fixtures for the season ahead. Both leagues now employ corporate intelligence companies to gather information, mostly from public sources and press coverage, about prospective owners. The Premier League also makes inquiries of the Home Office and Foreign Office to ask whether the government has relevant information about prospective owners.

At Reading increased scrutiny was prompted by the collapse of Portsmouth, where the owner from 2005, Sacha Gaydamak, a Russian in his 20s, always denied his billionaire father, Arkady was involved or had provided the funds. Anton Zingarevich, who has repeatedly described owning Reading as "a dream", and pledged to run the club responsibly, has said the funds to pay Madejski came from "family money".

Artem Savko, a spokesman for Ilim, Boris Zingarevich's pulp and paper firm, : "Ilim has nothing to do with Reading, nor football," and a source close to Zingarevich said he has nothing to do with the Reading acquisition. Anton is understood to be involved on the construction side of his father's personal businesses, and not to work at Ilim in any capacity.

Ultimately the Football League took the view that the millions for Anton to pay Madejski via Samuelson's Gibraltar vehicle could not wholly be separated from his billionaire father. So Boris Zingarevich, while not a director of the club or TSI, was required to certify his suitability under the owners and directors test, which applies to anybody who could be said to exercise "control" over a club. Samuelson, and Andrew Obolensky, a director of TSI, have also been certified.

Samuelson's son John is the other director on the board of TSI. "The Premier League's financial criteria seek to ensure responsible and sustainable ownership," a league spokesman said, explaining that it is examining whether further regulations are required. "Each club's ownership model is compliant with UK company law."

That is true. The clubs, as ever, reflect their times and country, in which so much is up for sale and use of offshore havens to avoid tax has become routine.
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Re: The Chris Samuelson Thread

Post by Terry Derry on Wed Jun 08, 2016 11:11 pm

Samuelson is quite clearly not a crook, allegedly not anyway.
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Re: The Chris Samuelson Thread

Post by Trotters on Wed Jun 08, 2016 11:18 pm

The French, Dutch and Americand have alleged he is. They've just never been able to prove it.
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Re: The Chris Samuelson Thread

Post by achilles on Thu Jun 09, 2016 11:42 am

We have to be careful that we aren't stepping out of the frying pan into the fire here!
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Re: The Chris Samuelson Thread

Post by 4BetLite on Thu Jun 09, 2016 11:50 am

@achilles wrote:We have to be careful that we aren't stepping out of the frying pan into the fire here!

It's fine to be cautious, it is only natural. However, this frying pan has sucked for so long I don't mind taking the risk and I think that Samuelson will be aware of Xia's connections all the way up to the Chinese president, he will not want to cross them IMO
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