The Department of Justice (DOJ) arrested exiled Chinese businessman Miles Guo Wednesday for allegedly “orchestrating” an over $1 billion dollar fraud conspiracy, the agency announced.
Ho Wan Kwok, a.k.a Guo Wengui or Miles Guo, was charged with “wire fraud, securities fraud, bank fraud and money laundering charges,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York announced. Guo, an ally of Steve Bannon, made his fortune in real estate before purportedly fleeing the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 2017 in fear of General Secretary Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaigns, according to The New York Times.
“As alleged, Ho Wan Kwok, known to many as ‘Miles Guo,’ led a complex conspiracy to defraud thousands of his online followers out of over $1 billion dollars,” U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said on Wednesday, according to the DOJ press release.
Guo allegedly lied about potential returns investors could expect if they funded his ventures including GTV Media Group, Himalaya Farm Alliance, G|CLUBS, and the Himalaya Exchange, according to the DOJ.
“Kwok is charged with lining his pockets with the money he stole, including buying himself and his close relatives, a 50,000 square foot mansion, a $3.5 million Ferrari, and even two $36,000 mattresses, and financing a $37 million luxury yacht,” Williams said.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) also charged Guo and his “longtime financial advisor,” Kin Ming Je, for “their involvement in registered and fraudulent offerings that raised more than $850 million,” a press release announced.
Bannon, with whom Guo formed GTV Media Group in April 2020, was arrested aboard Guo’s yacht in August 2020 for wire fraud and other charges related to a fundraiser in August 2020.
“The indictment today alleges the defendants were behind an elaborate scheme that defrauded thousands of individuals of over one billion dollars,” FBI Assistant Director Michael J. Driscoll said, according to the DOJ’s announcement.
“Fraudulent investment scams make victims out of innocent people, ultimately harming the public’s confidence in the integrity of financial systems,” said Driscoll. “The FBI continues to make investigating complex financial crimes a top priority, and anyone attempting these crimes will be made to face the consequences in the criminal justice system.”
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