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DOJ arrests Chinese businessman Guo Wengui in $1 billion fraud investigation

Chinese businessman Guo Wengui was arrested Wednesday at his $68 million apartment on Fifth Avenue in New York City on charges of masterminding a $1 billion fraud scheme that promised exorbitant financial gains to his online followers, the US Department of Justice announced.

Guo, 52, is scheduled to appear in court today and the government will ask to be detained as a “flight risk,” according to court records, citing his armed security and vast wealth. Guo is known for hiring 24-hour security guards and traveling in luxury vehicles, court records said. The 12-count indictment charges Guo and financier Qin Ming Jie with wire fraud, securities fraud, bank fraud and money laundering.

The securities exchange and the commission filed civil charges against Guo on Wednesday, saying in federal filings that he committed multiple frauds.

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One of the assets seized by the Justice Department in a $1 billion fraud scheme run by Chinese businessman Guo Wengui.

US Department of Justice

In 2018, Guo, also known as Miles Kwok or Miles Guo, founded two non-profit organizations, the Rule of Law Foundation and the Rule of Law Society. An outspoken critic of China’s Communist ruling party, Guo used his platforms to “collect followers aligned with his purported policy objectives in China,” the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York said in a statement. He then used his popularity to convince his followers to invest in the fictitious venture, court records said.

Guo then allegedly transferred funds to bank accounts in the United States, the Bahamas and the United Arab Emirates and used the money for luxury purchases, including a Lamborghini Aventador SVJ Roadster, maintenance of a 145-foot luxury yacht named “Lady May” and two $36,000 mattresses, court records said.

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Chinese businessman Guo Wengui is accused of bringing a mansion to fund a $1 billion fraud scheme.

US Department of Justice

Guo left China in 2014 on charges of bribery and money laundering. There have been Chinese prosecutors File a case against him Since then. Since 2015, he has been living in the United States, where he developed a close relationship with former Trump adviser and right-wing political operative Steve Bannon.

In 2020, Guo and Bannon announced a joint venture aimed at overthrowing the Chinese government.

He was when Bannon was aboard Guy’s yacht, the “Lady May.” Arrested in August 2020 on federal charges of defrauding donors in a “Build the Wall” fundraising initiative. Bannon was later pardoned by then-President Trump in that case.

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