His ordeal finally over, a U.S. executive detained for a week by his company’s Chinese workers in a pay dispute has arrived home. Chip Starnes, 42, flew into Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport in Florida early this morning.
He told reporters it was a big relief to be back with family and friends. “Big time really to see everybody here and go get a pizza,” he said.
Starnes described his experience at the factory as a “nightmare.” He said he felt like he was animal in the zoo. “I mean I was put in a situation where I was being shaken down,” he said. “Forced to pay severances to people who have jobs.”
The workers began blocking all exits from the plant in Huairou district on the outskirts of Beijing June 21 after seeing equipment being packed for shipment to India and thinking the entire factory was being shut down. They said the company owed them unpaid salary.
Starnes says he will go back to China and continue doing business there as the head of a medical supply company. Starnes is a co-owner of Florida-based Specialty Medical Supplies.
Former New Jersey senator and governor Jon Corzine plans to fight back against allegations by federal regulators that he was responsible for the misuse of customer money while CEO of MF Global. The boutique brokerage firm collapsed in 2011. Corzine is being sued by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and faces a lifetime ban from the industry.
“Mr. Corzine did nothing wrong, and we look forward to vindicating him in court,” his attorney said in a statement. A civil lawsuit filed in Manhattan seeks to restrict Corzine’s ability to trade investments and demands he pay unspecified penalties.
The suit charges that MF Global violated the law in the weeks before it collapsed by using customer funds to support its own trading operations. About $1.2 billion in customer money vanished when the firm collapsed.
The major stock indexes have been up for three straight days, and Wall Street futures rose again this morning. Good news on jobs and consumer spending Thursday bolstered the markets. The Dow closed up 114 points, or 0.8 percent, to 15,024. The S&P 500 index climbed nearly 10 points, or 0.6 percent.
Italian prosecutors allege that a Vatican official tried to bring $26 million in cash into Italy from Switzerland aboard an Italian government plane. Officials say Monsignor Nunzio Scarano, a recently suspended accountant, is already under investigation in an alleged money-laundering plot. Scarano was arrested today.
Richard Davies Business Correspondent ABC News Radio abcnews.com Twitter: daviesabc