Chinese businessman arrested for conspiracy to commit $1 billion scam


NEW YORK (London post with Reuters) A business tycoon long sought by the Chinese government and known to have ties to Trump administration figures, including Steve Bannon, was arrested in New York.

His Guo Wengui, 54, and his investor, his Kin Ming Je, were charged with various crimes, including wire, securities and bank fraud, and were indicted in federal court in Manhattan. Guo was charged under his Ho Wan Kwok name in court documents.

US prosecutors said the charges stemmed from a complicated scheme.

Kin Ming Je, 55, was not arrested. Guo was scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday. His attorney did not initially comment.

U.S. Attorney Damien Williams, Manhattan’s chief attorney, said in a press release that Guo was accused of “lining his pockets with stolen money, including purchasing a 50,000-square-foot mansion and a 3.5 mansion.” Also included are funds for two $36,000 mattresses and a $37 million luxury yacht.

Guo was once considered one of China’s richest men. He left the company in 2014 during an anti-corruption campaign led by President Xi Jinping, trapping people close to Guo, including senior intelligence officials. Chinese authorities have accused Guo of rape, kidnapping, bribery and other crimes. Living as a refugee in New York, he became an outspoken critic of the ruling Communist Party and formed a close relationship with Bannon, a former political strategist for President Donald Trump. In 2020, Guo and Bannon announced the formation of a joint initiative aimed at overthrowing the Chinese government.

Guo has long claimed the accusations against him in China were false, saying he should be punished for publicly denouncing corruption and criticizing Communist Party leaders.

For years, his case was the subject of debate as to whether China abused the cooperation of international law enforcement agencies, including Interpol, to secure his arrest. They fear that if they apply for asylum and are forced to leave the country, it will lead to arrest in a country that is less able to resist China’s demands. On Guo’s 150-foot yacht, Bannon was once arrested on federal charges. Shortly before Trump stepped down from the presidency, he pardoned the lawsuit against Bannon.

U.S. prosecutors will be charged if Mr. Guo lies to his victims and invests in or gives money to his media company, GTV Media Group Inc., the so-called Himalaya Farm Alliance, G’CLUBS, Himalaya Exchange. He is accused of promising inflated profits to victims.

According to Williams, the U.S. government said he seized about $634 million from 21 bank accounts from September 2022 to this month, the majority of the proceeds from Guo’s alleged fraud.

According to the SEC, Guo has targeted retail investors through his media posts and videos online and socially, with lies such as claiming that a crypto asset called “H-Coin” is backed by gold reserves. deceived them. According to the SEC, Guo and Je raised approximately $452 million through an unregistered offering of GTV’s common stock from April 2020 to June 2020, making it the “most popular and secure social media We are building a transaction platform that can be used independently from This allows China and the people of the world to achieve freedom of speech and freedom of trade.