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  • Bad Ideas    June 26 
Chinese billionaire called 'con man' for deceiving New York's homeless
Andrew Burton/Getty Images
Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Acts of charity are usually good for the public image of the wealthy, but one Chinese tycoon is experiencing an onslaught of backlash after tricking the homeless into thinking he was giving them money.

Chen Guangbiao, a recycling entrepreneur and founder of Jiangsu Huangpu Renewable Resources Limited Company, took hundreds of homeless New Yorkers, who were shelter residents at the New York City Rescue Mission, to elite Central Park restaurant The Loeb Boathouse on Wednesday. He treated them to lunch and even serenaded them with a rendition of "We are the World."

However, things quickly went downhill when Guangbiao waved wads of cash in front of the guests but refused to give them any. The Associated Press reports that shelter officials urged Chen not to give the homeless cash, as many of them are being treated for addictions.

When the homeless found out they wouldn't be receiving the money in front of them, they began yelling. Other homeless residents outside the restaurant joined in as well, calling Guangbiao a "liar" and a "con man."

Guangbiao, whose estimated worth is $750 million, will have to do some damage control to make up for the debacle, but it shouldn't be too hard: The AP also reports that his business card claims he's the "most charismatic philanthropist of China."

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