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CFO of The Epoch Times indicted for alleged participation in $67 million money laundering scheme

The U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, Damian Williams, announced the case against Bill Guan. He faces a sentence of up to 80 years in prison.

Captura de pantalla de la página web de The Epoch Times.

Captura de pantalla (Theepochtimes.com)

The U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York (SDNY), Damian Williams, announced the opening of a case against Weidong Guan, known as Bill Guan, the chief financial officer of the media company The Epoch Times. He is accused of allegedly participating in a $67 million money laundering scheme.

Guan was arrested Sunday morning and appeared before a judge Monday afternoon. He is charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering, a charge that carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. There are also two other charges for bank fraud, each carrying a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison. In total, he faces a sentence of up to 80 years in prison.

According to the official case: "The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty."

$67 million obtained 'illegally'

As announced by the SDNY: Guan (61) "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":

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.  Today’s charges reflect this Office’s ongoing commitment to vigorously enforcing the laws against those who facilitate fraud through money laundering and to protecting the integrity of the U.S. financial system.

According to the indictment, the alleged crimes were committed from 2020 through May 2024.

The text states that "from at least in or about 2020, through in or about May 2024, WEIDONG GUAN, a/k/a 'Bill Guan,' the defendant, and others participated in a sprawling, transnational scheme to launder at least approximately $67 million of illegally obtained funds."

Cryptocurrency money laundering

According to the indictment, "used cryptocurrency to knowingly purchase tens of millions of dollars in crime proceeds. ... Prepaid debit cards were loaded with fraudulently procured unemployment insurance benefits obtained using stolen personal identification information of U.S. residents.":

To execute the Money Laundering Scheme, individuals employed by or affiliated with the Media Entities, located both in the United States and overseas, used stolen personal identification information to open accounts, including prepaid debit card accounts, cryptocurrency accounts, and bank accounts, that were used to transfer the crime proceeds to the Media Entities' Bank Accounts.

us v. Guan Indictment-2 by Veronica Silveri

The text concludes by assuring that "In or about 2020, the Money Laundering Scheme caused tens of millions of illicit dollars to be transferred into the Media Entities' bank accounts. In fact, that year, the Media Company's internal financial accounting reflected an increased annual revenue over the previous year of approximately 410 percent-from approximately $15 million to approximately $62 million":

GUAN falsely stated that the increase of funds was from customer "subscriptions" to the Media Company. 2 And at still other times, GUAN falsely stated, including to U.S. banks, that the increase in funds was attributable to increased "donations" by supporters of the Media Company. In truth and in fact, and as GUAN well knew, the unlawful proceeds of the Money Laundering Scheme drove the increase in funds to the Media Entities' accounts.