NEW YORK — A business tycoon long sought by the Chinese government and known for cultivating relationships with figures in the Trump administration, including Steve Bannon, was arrested Wednesday in New York City. York for allegedly overseeing a $1 billion fraud scheme.
Quach Van Quy, 54, and his financier, Kin Ming Je, face indictments in federal court in Manhattan charging them with a variety of charges, including wire transfer, securities, and banking fraud. . Guo was charged in court papers under the name Ho Wan Kwok.
US prosecutors say the indictment stems from an elaborate scheme in which Guo defrauded hundreds of thousands of online followers in the United States and around the world before misappropriating hundreds of millions of dollars. la.
Kin Ming Je, 55, has not been arrested. Guo is expected to appear in court on Wednesday. His attorney did not immediately comment.
The top federal prosecutor in Manhattan, US Attorney Damian Williams, said in a statement that Guo was charged with “lining his pocket with the money he stole, including buying for himself and others.” his body, a 50,000-square-foot mansion, a $3.5 million Ferrari.” , and even two $36,000 mattresses, and finance a $37 million luxury yacht.”
Guo was once said to be one of the richest people in China. He left in 2014 during an anti-corruption crackdown led by President Xi Jinping that trapped people close to Guo, including a top intelligence official. Chinese authorities have accused Guo of rape, kidnapping, bribery and other crimes.
Since then, it has been desperately sought by that country’s government, relying on the United States for protection.
While living in New York as a fugitive, he became an outspoken critic of the ruling Communist Party and developed a close relationship with Bannon, the former political strategist of President Trump. President Donald Trump. Guo and Bannon in 2020 announced the creation of a joint initiative that they say is aimed at overthrowing the Chinese government.
Guo has long argued that the accusations against him in China are untrue, saying they are intended to punish him for openly corrupting there and criticizing leading figures in the Communist Party.
For years, his case has been the subject of debate over whether China abused international law enforcement cooperation efforts, including Interpol, in seeking his arrest. He applied for political asylum in the United States, saying he feared that if he was forced to leave the country it could lead to his arrest in a country with less power to against Chinese demands.
It was on Guo’s 150-foot (45-meter) yacht that Bannon was once arrested on federal charges. Just before leaving office, Trump dropped the Bannon case with a pardon.
US prosecutors accuse Guo of lying to his victims, promising them huge profits if they invest or fund his media company, GTV Media Group Inc., which called Himalaya Farm Alliance, G’CLUBS and his Himalaya Exchange.
From September 2022 to this month, the US government seized about $634 million from 21 bank accounts, Williams said, accounting for most of the proceeds from Guo’s alleged fraud.
He said law enforcement on Wednesday also seized properties purchased with proceeds from the alleged scam, including a Lamborghini Aventador SVJ Roadster.
The Securities and Exchange Commission also filed civil charges against Guo on Wednesday, saying in a filing in Manhattan federal court that Guo led others to commit numerous frauds since then. from April 2020.
The SEC said Guo targeted retail investors through online and social media posts and videos, deceiving them with lies, such as claims that crypto asset securities named “H-Coin” backed by gold reserves.
The SEC said Guo and Je raised approximately $452 million through an unregistered GTV common stock offering between April 2020 and June 2020, claiming that they will “build a trading platform.” The most popular and secure social media and translation service, independent of Chinese government censorship and surveillance, allowing the people of China and the world to exercise freedom of speech and commerce. “