A Chinese billionaire has been arrested and charged with an alleged fraud conspiracy that defrauded investors of more than $1 billion.


Chinese billionaire and proclaimed dissident Guo Wengui was arrested on Wednesday. charged with fraud thousands of followers from more than $1 billion through complex investment schemes, the US Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday.

Guo, a staunch critic of the Chinese government in exile in Manhattan and close to former Donald Trump adviser Steve Bannon, was taken into custody in New York on Wednesday morning. He has been accused of scamming or misappropriating investors’ money using a variety of schemes including his media company GTV Media Group, an agricultural loan program through the Himalaya Farm Alliance, and a cryptocurrency called Himalaya Coin.

The 145-foot luxury yacht, worth about $37 million, was used by Guo Wengui, according to the Department of Justice.

Go is also known as Ho Wang Kwok and Miles Go.

Prosecutors said instead of using the money as he had promised potential investors, Guo diverted funds to invest in a hedge fund for GTV and a relative to cover maintenance payments on his $37 million, 145-foot luxury yacht, New York. Jersey. a mansion and a $4.4 million custom-built Bugatti sports car. In a letter to the judge, prosecutors said they were seeking his arrest, arguing that he posed a serious flight risk.

CNN has reached out to Guo’s attorney for comment.

Guo co-founded two nonprofits, the Rule of Law Foundation and the Rule of Law Society, which prosecutors allege he used to recruit supporters who believed in many of his ideas.

These nonprofits have been linked to a group promoting the theory that the novel coronavirus was likely created in a Chinese lab. The Rule of Law organizations were founded by Guo and Bannon.

Bannon was not charged in this case.

Bannon was arrested in 2020 on Goh’s yacht on unrelated fraud charges related to fundraising efforts to build the border wall. Bannon was pardoned by Trump but faced similar charges. Bannon pleaded not guilty.

The 50,000-square-foot New Jersey mansion is owned by Guo Wengui, according to the US Department of Justice.

Prosecutors said they seized $634 million from 21 bank accounts and a Lamborghini Aventador SVJ Roadster.

In addition to criminal charges of conspiracy, wire fraud, securities fraud, international money laundering and obstruction of justice, Guo also sued the Securities and Exchange Commission.