Guo Wengui, the exiled Chinese billionaire who is also an associate of infamous Donald Trump White House adviser Steve Bannon, is facing some more legal problems in his adopted home in the United States. Federal prosecutors have arrested Guo (under the name “Ho Wan Kwok,” one of multiple names he has gone by in the past) for an alleged scam to bilk his sizable online followers out of a total of $1 billion.
In a press statement issued by the U.S. Attorney’s Office announcing the arrest on 12 counts of various crimes including wire fraud, securities fraud, bank fraud and money laundering, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams is quoted on the case:
“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. 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.
“As alleged, Kwok lied to his victims and promised them outsized returns if they invested, or provided money to, GTV, his so-called Himalaya Farm Alliance, G|CLUBS, and the Himalaya Exchange.”
Guo and alleged co-conspirator Kin Ming Je are charged by authorities with lying to their online followers and using their “investments” to fund the lavish expenses listed above. Other luxury items mentioned in the press release as having been purchased by alleged ill-gotten gains include “Chinese and Persian rugs worth approximately $978,000, a $62,000 television, and a $53,000 fireplace log cradle holder,” as well as a custom Bugatti automobile valued at $4.4 million.
Prosecutors have seized a total of $634 million in proceeds from the Guo’s alleged scam, plus a trove of assets purchased with still more money from their alleged investment fraud.
Guo pleaded not guilty on all charges, and reportedly seemed “relaxed” and even smiled at the press in court. He was last reported to be in detention while awaiting details of his bail to be worked out, and his next court date is currently scheduled for early April.