Epoch Times CFO Weidong ‘Bill’ Guan charged over $67M money laundering scheme

The chief financial officer of the Epoch Times newspaper — a New York-based weekly critical of the Chinese government — has been charged by the feds with money laundering, according to US officials.

Weidong “Bill” Guan — CFO for the news site that also distributes papers across the US, UK, France and Canada — is alleged to have laundered $67 million in the alleged scheme, according to a Monday indictment by the US Justice Department.

Guan, a 61-year-old resident of Secaucus, NJ, used a cryptocurrency platform to buy up prepaid debit cards at a discount after they were loaded with money that was obtained from fraudulent unemployment insurance claims, court papers said.

The chief financial officer of Epoch Times has been indicted by the federal government for alleged money laundering. JHVEPhoto –

Justice Department officials said the alleged scheme increased the Epoch Times’ revenue by nearly 400% in just a year — from $15 million to $62 million.

Guan was taken into custody Monday evening. Bail was set at $3 million, according to the New York Times.

Guan has pleaded not guilty. If released, Guan must be confined to house arrest.

If convicted, Guan faces a maximum of 20 years in prison for money laundering and 30 years each for two bank fraud charges listed in the Justice Department indictment.

The Epoch Times was not named in the indictment released Monday, but instead was referred to as a “multinational media company.” Prosecutors said the charges are not related to the media company’s news-gathering activities.

In a statement, the news organization, which is linked to China’s Falun Gong spiritual movement, said it would cooperate with the federal probe.

The alleged money laundering scheme boosted Epoch Times’ revenue by 400% within a year. sharafmaksumov –

“The Epoch Times has a guiding principle that elevates integrity in its dealings above everything else. The company intends to and will fully cooperate with any investigation dealing with the allegations against Mr. Guan,” according to a written statement.

“In the interim, although Mr. Guan is innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, the company has suspended him until this matter is resolved.”

Founded in 2000, Epoch Times promotes the Falun Gong spiritual movement, which has been banned in China by the Communist-run government. It has also been highly supportive of former President Donald Trump.

The Post has sought comment from Epoch Times and the Justice Department.

According to the May 23 indictment handed down by federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York, Guan, who headed a team dubbed “Make Money Online,” used stolen identification numbers of US residents in order to obtain unemployment insurance benefits that were used to load prepaid debit cards.

Epoch Times is associated with the Falun Gong spiritual movement, a dissident group opposed to the Chinese government. Postmodern Studio –

Those debit cards were then sold at a discount of “approximately 70 to 80 cents per dollar” in exchange for cryptocurrency, it was alleged in the indictment.

“Once purchased, the crime proceeds were transferred to bank accounts” belonging to Guan and the company, it was alleged.

Guan “conspired with others to benefit himself, the media company, and its affiliates by laundering tens of millions of dollars in fraudulently obtained unemployment insurance benefits and other crime proceeds,” said US Attorney Damian Williams in a media release.

“When banks raised questions about the funds, Guan allegedly lied repeatedly and falsely claimed that the funds came from legitimate donations to the media company,” Williams said.

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