Federal authorities have seized nearly $3 million from the popular conservative social media platform Gettr, during a billion-dollar fraud investigation of one of its original investors, The yard reports.
The Justice Department on Wednesday arrested Chinese billionaire investor Guo Wengui for allegedly defrauding people of more than $1 billion. The exiled dissident who lives in Manhattan is also known as Ho Wan Kwok and Miles Guo.
In the DOJ indictment, Guo is accused of manipulating his nearly 900,000 followers on Gettr into investing millions in cryptocurrency and anti-Chinese Communist Party “media scams,” reports The Verge. Guo pleaded not guilty in Manhattan federal court the same day he was arrested. He was sentenced to be held without bail.
The indictment alleges that Mr. Guo and his business partner Kin Ming Je persuaded Guo’s Gettr supporters, many of whom are Chinese nationals living in the West, to fund what they believed to be media companies and a exclusive club.
Gettr, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment, describes itself as a social media platform “founded on the principles of freedom of expression, independent thought and rejecting political censorship and” culture cancellation “”.
According to BBC, a fire broke out in the billionaire’s penthouse apartment overlooking Central Park hours after his arrest. The authorities are would have investigate whether this fire, which occurred while FBI agents were still searching it, was started remotely.
Guo, who is a friend of former Trump chief adviser Steve Bannon, is accused by federal prosecutors of using funds he defrauded supporters to buy a $26.5 million mansion in New Jersey, a $37 million yacht, on a $36,000 mattress and a $140,000 Piano.
Sources speaking to The New York Post added that the politically well-connected Chinese businessman hosted former British Prime Minister Tony Blair at his New York apartment.
Bannon was arrested on Guo’s yacht last year for his alleged role in a fundraising scam to help President Trump build a wall between the United States and Mexico. Bannon has pleaded not guilty to money laundering charges.
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