A Chinese billionaire who funds conservative social network Gettr has been arrested for cryptocurrency fraud

The United States has just charged one of the most highly paid men in Donald Trump’s orbit with fraud.

It was Guo Wengui, a Chinese fugitive living in the United States Arrested(Opens in a new tab) On Wednesday, she was hit with a series of fraud, securities fraud, bank fraud and money laundering accusations. The billionaire fled China in 2014 and has been living in New York. It was wanted by the government of China.

A large part of Guo’s alleged fraud was the Himalayan Exchange system, a cryptocurrency “ecosystem”, which included a stablecoin called Himalaya Dollar and a cryptocurrency called Himalaya Coin.

Guo was foot(Opens in a new tab) Himalayan Exchange as an opportunity for investors to make money and overthrow the Chinese government via cryptocurrency. In fact, it seemed that their investment was going directly into Guo’s bank accounts. Guo allegedly collected $262 million from his victims under this scheme.

Since his arrival in the United States, Guo has been associated with figures in conservative politics.

In July 2021, former Trump administration communications director Jason Miller launched a brand-new alternative social media platform for conservatives called gettr. Soon after, A.J a report(Opens in a new tab) From The Daily Beast, it was revealed that Guo has been a major financial backer of the social network.

‚ÄúSome of the initial seed money has come from [Guo’s] Miller told the outlet at the time. Miller also claimed that Guo was not a direct investor in the company.

However, according to indictment(Opens in a new tab) A large part of Guo’s illegally obtained money was deposited in a bank account named “GETTR USA, Inc.”

Authorities seized a total of $634 million from 21 different bank accounts containing the proceeds of the alleged fraud. Of that amount, more than $2.7 million was held in the GETTR account.

Guo may also have been more integrated into the GETTR process than the alleged fraudster has publicly allowed. According to The Daily Beast, a host on Guo’s media outlet, GTV, claimed that GETTR was a “focus [Guo’s] throughout life. The GTV host even confirmed that Guo created GETTR’s torch logo.

Mashable has reached out to GETTR for comment and will update this piece when we hear back.

Guo also forged a relationship with former President Trump’s 2016 political strategist Steve Bannon, as both were leading critics of China’s ruling Communist Party. In fact, when authorities arrested Bannon for fraud in August 2020, he was arrested on Guo’s yacht.

Guo’s business partner, Kin Ming Je, was also indicted on Wednesday and charged with an additional charge of obstruction of justice.

Allegedly, Ho Wan Kwok, known to many as Miles Jo [and Guo Wengui]spearheaded an elaborate plot to defraud his thousands of online followers out of more than $1 billion, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement.

According to Williams, Guo used his fraudulently acquired riches to purchase expensive luxuries for himself and close family members such as “a 50,000 square foot mansion, a $3.5 million Ferrari, even two $36,000 mattresses, and financing a $37 million luxury yacht.”

As of the publication of this article, officials in New York are Investigation(Opens in a new tab) A fire broke out at the hotel where Guo was arrested earlier Wednesday morning.

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