Steven N. S. Cheung


Steven N. S. Cheung : biography

December 1, 1935 –

Legal troubles

On January 28, 2003, Cheung was indicted on thirteen counts by a US federal grand jury. The charges consisted of six counts of filing a false income tax return, six counts of filing false foreign bank account reports, and one count of Consipiracy to Defraud the United States. Cheung was accused of failing to report incomes from Hong Kong parking lots and other business. As a U.S. citizen, Cheung is obliged to report incomes from anywhere in the world, even if he does not reside in the United States. The law is uncommon in other countries. Cheung insists that he relied on the advice of his tax consultant, and did not know he was supposed to report the income in question.

Experts have said that ignorance of the U.S. tax policy is common among U.S. expatriates; the U.S. government generally does not pursue investigations of failures to report overseas income for non-residents. When discovered, offenders are often simply requested to turn in the unpaid tax. It is unknown why the U.S. government chose to investigate Cheung, and further to pursue a federal grand jury indictment; journalists have suspected ulterior motives.

Originally a professor at University of Hong Kong, because of the extradition agreements between the US and Hong Kong, Cheung has since stayed in mainland China, a country that has no such agreements with America. He now writes books and works as a columnist for the Hong Kong newspaper Apple Daily. Occasionally, he pays visits to various universities in mainland China.

From 1998 to 2003, Steven Cheung’s company, Steven N. S. Cheung Inc. has a subsidiary in Seattle called Thesaurus Fine Arts, which specialized in Asian antique pieces. The store closed when alleged that many of the antiques were fake. [source needed] In 2004, the Washington State Attorney General filed consumer fraud charges against Thesaurus Fine Arts. In 2005, Thesaurus Fine Arts settled for up to $550,000 in fines, attorney fees, and restitution. Cheung was dropped from the case as a result. Cheung has denied ownership of Thesaurus. Thesaurus is a subsidiary of Steven N. S. Cheung Inc., but it is claimed that Cheung is "not an officer, director or shareholder" of Thesaurus.

Notable works

Doctoral Thesis

  • 1969 The Theory of Share Tenancy, University of Chicago Press. Reprinted in June 2000 by Acadia PSeress.

Selected Books for General Audiences

  • 2001 Economic Explanation, Arcadia Press, Reprinted in December 2002 by Aracadia Press
    • Book I, The Science of Demand
    • Book II, The Behavior of Supply
    • Book III, The Choice of Institutional Arrangements

Selected Journal Articles

  • 1968 "Private property rights and sharecropping", Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 76, Issue 6, pp. 1107-1122.
  • 1969 Transaction Costs, Risk Aversion, and the Choice of Contractual Arrangements, Journal of Law and Economics, Vol. 12, Issue 1, pp. 23–42.
  • 1970 The Structure of a Contract and the Theory of a Non-Exclusive Resource, Journal of Law and Economics, Vol. 13, Issue 1, pp. 49–70.
  • 1970 Enforcement of Property Rights in Children, and the Marriage Contract, Economic Journal, Vol. 82, Issue 326, pp. 641–57.
  • 1973 The Fable of the Bees: An Economic Investigation, Journal of Law and Economics, Vol. 16, Issue 1, pp. 11–33.
  • 1974 A Theory of Price Control, Journal of Law and Economics, Vol. 17, Issue 1, pp. 53–71.
  • 1975 Roofs or Stars: The Stated Intents and Actual Effects of a Rents Ordinance, Economic Inquiry, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp. 1–21.
  • 1977 Why are better seats ‘underpriced’ , Economic Inquiry, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp. 513–522.
  • 1982 Property Rights in Trade Secrets, Economic Inquiry, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp. 40–53.
  • 1983 The Contractual Nature of The Firm, Journal of Law and Economics, Vol. 26, Issue 1, pp. 1–26.
  • 1995 Economic Interactions: China vis-a-vis Hong Kong, Contemporary Economic Policy, Vol. 13, Issue 1, pp. 1–9.
  • 1996 A Simplistic General Equilibrium Theory of Corruption, Contemporary Economic Policy, Vol. 14, Issue 3, pp. 1–5.
  • 1998 Deng Xiaoping’s Great Transformation, Contemporary Economic Policy, Vol. 16, Issue 2, pp. 125–35.
  • 1998 The Curse of Democracy as an Instrument of Reform in Collapsed Communist Economies, Contemporary Economic Policy, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp. 247–49.