Exiled Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui arrested in New York on financial fraud charges

From his golden exile in Manhattan, he presented himself as a fierce opponent of Chinese rule, ready to ally himself with the sulphurous Steve Bannon. Billionaire Guo Wengui was arrested in New York on Wednesday, accused of defrauding thousands of investors to enrich himself.

Hunted by China, where he is accused of financial fraud, Guo Wengui, 52, was finally caught by the Manhattan federal prosecutor’s office, which issued an indictment containing eleven charges of wire fraud, securities fraud, bank fraud and money laundering. Did. Offenses for the most part punishable by 20 years in prison.

The federal police (FBI) in New York arrested him on Wednesday morning at his luxurious apartment in a building overlooking Central Park in Manhattan. Local media reported that hours later, a fire broke out in the same building that did not injure anyone, and that authorities are investigating whether the incident was related to the arrest.

Prosecutors told AFP that Guo Wengui, who appeared before a judge on Wednesday afternoon, “admitted no guilt and agreed to be taken into custody.” His lawyers, requested, did not respond.

Former adviser to Donald Trump, Steve Bannon and exiled Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui during a press conference in New York November 20, 2018 (AFP – DON EMMERT)

Guo Wengui is alleged to have taken advantage of his notoriety on the Internet since 2018 to encourage thousands of people to invest in his companies or projects, such as GTV Private Placement, or G/Club, which advertised profitable investments or luxury services. had promised. But above all it would have allowed him to lead the way and “fill his own pocket,” in the words of Manhattan federal prosecutor Damian Williams.

– Bannon arrested on his yacht –

US justice has also seized more than $630 million from bank accounts or real estate and securities, “the product of this alleged fraud”, such as a lavish mansion of more than 4,600 square meters in New Jersey or from Bugatti, Lamborghini or Rolls-Royce. luxury vehicle.

According to federal prosecutors, the fraud represents more than a billion dollars.

The businessman, who made his fortune in real estate, moved to the United States in 2015, fleeing China where he was targeted by an Interpol red notice, for financial fraud he denies.

The businessman promised to do everything he could to democratize the Chinese regime, seeing qualities in President Xi Jinping – and Donald Trump – a fierce critic of Beijing.

“I want to try to get democracy, the rule of law, to get freedom, that’s my ultimate goal, regime change”, if possible “within three years”, he told AFP in 2017 at his luxurious apartment Explained in Manhattan.

A year later, he formalized an alliance with Steve Bannon, a former adviser to Donald Trump and US hard right, to expose crimes he believed had been committed by the Chinese government.

Together, Guo Wengui and Steve Bannon formed a lobby opposing the Chinese Communist Party: The New Federal State of China.

Steve Bannon was arrested on a Chinese businessman’s yacht in August 2020 in an embezzlement case related to an immigration wall project on the Mexican border, a key promise of the former Republican president.

An alleged accomplice of Guo Wengui, his “financier” Qin Ming Jie, is also the subject of an indictment by the federal prosecutor’s office in Manhattan, but he is “at large” and wanted by US justice.

Add a Comment