(Singapore 16 March 2023) Guo Wengui, a fugitive Chinese billionaire, has been arrested in New York on charges that he orchestrated a complex conspiracy to defraud thousands of his followers of more than US$1 billion.

A federal indictment unsealed in Manhattan charged that Guo and a co-defendant took advantage of the former’s “prolific online presence” to solicit investments in various entities and programs “by promising outsized financial returns and other benefits.”

Guo Wengui Source: The New York Times

Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Michael J. Driscoll, Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced the unsealing of a twelve-count Indictment charging Guo with various wire fraud, securities fraud, bank fraud, and money laundering charges.

The charges in the Indictment arise from an alleged sprawling and complex scheme by the defendants, and others, to solicit investments in various entities and programs through false statements and representations to hundreds of thousands of Guo’s online followers.

As alleged, Guo and his partner misappropriated hundreds of millions of dollars in fraudulently obtained funds during the course of their conspiracy. In addition, Williams announced that between September 2022 and March 2023, the U.S. Government seized approximately $634 million from 21 different bank accounts.  The $634 million constitutes proceeds of Guo’s alleged fraud, which the Government will seek to forfeit.

Guo Wengui’s luxury house Pictures: US Department of Justice
Guo Wengui’s luxury car Picture: US Department of Justice

“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, Guo 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 is further charged with laundering hundreds of millions of stolen funds to conceal the conspiracy’s illegal activities and continue the fraud’s operations.