Report: Justice Department Probing Bannon Role In Guo's Alleged Frauds

Steve Bannon

Former White House Chief Strategist

A new report in Mother Jones cites sources that claim Steve Bannon is being investigated for playing a role behind the scenes advising his longtime associate Ho Wan Kwok, also known as Miles Guo, on his allegedly fraudulent schemes. Guo was arrested after being charged with 12 counts of fraud, financial crimes, and obstruction of justice by the Southern District of New York for his role overseeing a wide-ranging conspiracy of fraudulent ventures totalling over $1 billion.

Bannon publicly promoted these allegedly fraudulent schemes on multiple occasions. In one instance, Bannon endorsed a cryptocoin called H Coin and its associated exchange, calling their launch “monumental” and part of the “institutionalization of the counteroffensive to the Chinese Communist Party.”

According to the indictment, Guo and others “fraudulently obtained more than approximately $262 million in victim funds through the Himalaya Exchange.”

Mother Jones quotes sources who had been contacted by FBI and SEC agents and “asked for details on Bannon’s role advising Guo on soliciting investment funds in 2020.” Sources also say Bannon “privately advised” Guo and his alleged co-conspirator on GTV and so-called “G|Clubs.” The SDNY release describes how Guo “touted” GTV as a “wide-ranging media company,” and made “false representations regarding how the money raised” from investors “would be used.” Investors were told that the “G|Clubs” would “provide participants with the opportunity to buy discounted stock in other Guo ventures.” Guo and his co-conspirator Kin Ming Je “misappropriated hundreds of millions of dollars in fraudulently obtained funds,” according to the SDNY.

According to Mother Jones:

Still, Bannon gave vital assistance to Guo’s operation. The former top aide to Donald Trump not only publicly cheered on companies that Guo allegedly used to rip off fans, but also privately advised Guo on how to solicit investments in those companies.

FBI and SEC agents, who are still investigating Guo’s capers, have sought information about Bannon’s work for the Chinese mogul, according to two people contacted by agents. One source said that agents asked for details on Bannon’s role advising Guo on soliciting investment funds in 2020.

Starting in the spring of 2020, Guo raised hundreds of millions of dollars by offering backers a chance to invest in what Guo said was a private offering of shares in GTV. Information sent to potential investors named Bannon as a member of GTV’s board.

Bannon also played a larger role than was publicly known in the GTV offering, people familiar with the effort told Mother Jones. These sources said that Bannon privately advised Guo, Je, and others on the GTV offering. Bannon also provided advice on a follow-up venture called G|Clubs, sources said. Guo claimed that membership in this club —which cost between $10,000 and $50,000—would provide participants with the opportunity to buy discounted stock in other Guo ventures. Prosecutors said that members actually received “few to no discernible membership benefits.”

In 2020, Bannon was arrested by postal service agents for his own separate fraudulent scheme on Guo’s yacht, which, according to the SDNY, itself was financed through Guo’s alleged fraud.

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

{{ }}