Exiled Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui faces charges of billion-euro fraud in the US -Dlight News


(Bloomberg) – Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui has been charged in the US with a billion-dollar fraud over a series of securities offerings he allegedly used to enjoy luxury goods, including a $26.5 million mansion.

Guo, also known as Miles Kwok, was charged in a 38-page indictment on Wednesday. He and his financial advisor, Kin Ming Je, were charged with conspiracy, wire fraud, securities fraud and money laundering. Guo was arrested in Manhattan on Wednesday, according to federal prosecutors, while Je is at large.

Prosecutors allege the couple conspired to swindle thousands of victims out of more than $1 billion using “a series of complex fraudulent and fictitious deals and investment opportunities.” The two allegedly used a large money laundering network involving more than 500 accounts held by at least 80 different organizations and individuals.

A lawyer who represents Guo in other cases did not immediately respond to a call asking for comment on the charges. According to the US, Guo will appear before a judge in the afternoon.

$36,000 mattress

According to the indictment, Guo and Je used more than $300 million of the fraudulent proceeds to help themselves and their families. These included a $26.5 million New Jersey mansion for Guo and his family, a $3.5 million Ferrari, a $37 million yacht, a $140,000 piano and a $36,000 – Dollar mattress.

The indictment includes 11 counts against both men and one count of obstruction against Je, also known as William Je. It follows a lawsuit earlier in the day by the US Securities and Exchange Commission. According to the SEC lawsuit, Guo was behind three unregistered security offerings for GTV Media Group Inc. and another to buy a crypto security called H-Coin, which he falsely said was backed by gold reserves.

Guo, a Chinese businessman living in exile in the US, has long been the subject of legal battles. Elliott Broidy, a fundraiser for Donald Trump, pleaded guilty in 2020 to illegally lobbying the Trump White House to demand Guo’s extradition and suppress investigations into 1MDB, the Malaysian fund at the center of a global bribery scandal.

Two other people, Hawaiian businesswoman Nickie Lum Davis and former Justice Department attorney George Higginbotham, also pleaded guilty to their roles in the scheme. Broidy was later pardoned by Trump.

Bannon Partners

Guo, an associate of Steve Bannon, was a vocal critic of the Chinese Communist Party. Fearing retaliation from the regime, he applied for political asylum in the United States in 2017.

Bannon was one of the main strategists behind Trump’s victory in the 2016 presidential election. He was aboard Guo’s yacht in 2020 when he was arrested for fraud related to We Build the Wall, a nonprofit group collecting private donations to build a wall on the US-Mexico border. Trump later pardoned his ally over the federal allegations.

Bannon is still facing related charges in New York state court. He pleaded not guilty.

The criminal case is US v. Ho Wan Kwok, 23-cr-00118; the civil case is Securities and Exchange Commission v. Ho Wan Kwok, 23-cv-02200; US District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

–Assisted by David Voreacos.

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