Exiled Chinese billionaire arrested in New York for multi-billion dollar fraud

Chinese billionaire in exile Guo Wengui, a controversial figure who claims to be an opponent of the Chinese regime, was arrested in New York on Wednesday, where US justice charged him with defrauding thousands of his customers over the Internet of more than a billion dollars. was accused.

Guo Wengui, 52, was arrested “this morning in New York” and is facing 11 counts of “electronic fraud, securities fraud, bank fraud and money laundering” by federal prosecutors in Manhattan. Press release.

The man who presented himself as a fierce critic of the Chinese Communist regime and a fierce defender of democracy, while maintaining ties to the sulfur figure of the American right wing Steve Bannon, now faces multiple prison sentences of up to 20 years. have to do.

In an interview with AFP in 2017 he assured, “I want to try to achieve the rule of law, democracy, freedom, that’s my ultimate goal, regime change”, if possible “three within the year”. In his luxurious apartment in Manhattan. He then strongly denied the allegations of fraud against him in China.

Exiled Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui, a controversial figure who claims to be an opponent of the Chinese regime, during a press conference in New York January 27, 2019 (AFP/Archives – Don EMMERT)

“Ho Van Quoc, also known as +Miles Guo+” or Guo Wengui, “perpetrated a complex fraud aimed at defrauding thousands of people who followed him online out of more than a billion dollars”, Wednesday indicated by the prosecutor.

According to US justice, the victims were promised juicy profits if they invested in the businessman’s companies.

“Kwok is alleged to have lined his own pockets with the stolen money, notably buying himself and his relatives a mansion of more than 4,600 square meters, a Ferrari for $3.5 million”, says Damian Williams, who ” also lists “two mattresses”. $36,000″ and financing “a luxury yacht worth $37 million”.

The federal prosecutor’s office said that approximately $634 million, “the proceeds of this alleged fraud,” were seized from bank accounts in 2022 and 2023, along with assets such as the “Lamborghini Aventador SVJ Roads.”

An alleged accomplice, Qin Ming Jie, believed to be Guo Wengui’s financier, is on the run and is wanted by US justice, prosecutors said.

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