A rubber mask of Tsai Shen Yeh,
a Chinese God of Wealth
A cultured female Robin Hood is discovered to have embezzled millions from her employer. But why did she do it? Did she calculate her scheme to give her children advantages, or was she suffering from a compulsive mental illness? The enigma of Carol Ann Huang:
Like most of her friends, Rosen and Yourick were flabbergasted when they found out that Huang had been lying to them and that the money she’d lavished on them was stolen. But unlike many others, who were just surprised or amused, they were furious and hurt. "We felt like dishrags being tossed out," says Rosen.
"Virtually every conversation and all the time we had spent with her was put into a different framework after we found out," Rosen says. "We don’t know what was real and what wasn’t. As far as I know, the whole relationship was a lie. You have no idea how hurtful the betrayal was."
When I mention that the waiters at Chez Panisse called Huang "Berkeley’s Robin Hood," Rosen bristles. "She was no kind of Robin Hood," he says. "If she’d been giving money to charity, or to someone who’d suffered a misfortune, that would be something else. Elaine and I were both gainfully employed. She wasn’t rescuing us. She was using us somehow."
"It made me kind of sick, the effect she had on people. It was ugly," says Elaine Smith, who resented the way otherwise dignified people responded to Huang and jockeyed to get on her list. "It’s not as if she was saving lives. She was plugging in to the most chichi goddamn stuff. It gives me the creeps."
"I think that she is a con artist of the highest order," says Rosen. "I don’t understand the sympathy people have for her."
Read the complete article: The Robin Hood of the East Bay, San Francisco Magazine>>
– God of Wealth (Tsai Shen Yeh) Rubber, China Sprout>>