Exiled Chinese billionaire businessman Guo Wengui, 52, also known as Miles Guo and Ho Wan Kwok, a resident of New York City and Greenwich, was arrested on Wednesday on charges that he orchestrated a $1 billion fraud conspiracy.
The Dept of Justice refers to him as Mr. Kwok.
According to authorities, Kwok, with help from his longtime financial advisor Kin Ming Je “William Je,” 56, of London, cheated thousands of people by promising outsize investment returns.
Kwok, a prominent critic of China’s communist party, left the country in 2014 during an anti-corruption crackdown.
Shortly after Kwok’s arrest, a fire broke out in his upper East Side apartment at the Sherry-Netherland hotel where he was arrested.
In Greenwich, residents in the Taconic Road area, expressed surprise on social media that the exiled billionaire’s house was also raided by federal agents early Wednesday morning.
Greenwich Police confirmed the raid but it was not one of their cases.
Unsealed Wednesday in the Southern District of New York, a 12-count federal indictment charges Kwok with wire fraud, securities fraud, bank fraud and money laundering.
Federal prosecutors say he led an conspiracy to defraud thousands of his online followers out of more than $1 billion.
Mr. Kwok is accused of using the funds he allegedly stole from investors for his own personal use, making purchases a 50,000 sq ft mansion in New Jersey, a $4.4 million custom-built Bugatti sports car, a $3.5 million Ferrari, and financing for a $37 million luxury yacht.
In fact, in the summer of 2020 Steve Bannon was enjoying a sail on that very yacht off the Connecticut shoreline when he was arrested for allegedly scamming money from a southern border wall crowdfund effort on GoFundMe called We Build the Wall.
In a letter to prosecutors the US Attorney Southern District of New York said the suspect was a flight risk and sought to keep him in pretrial custody.
They noted Kwok was not a citizen, and said “presents a serious risk of flight based on the nature of the charges, the significant sentence that he faces, the strong evidence of his guilt, his substantial financial resources, and his ties to foreign jurisdictions.”
Full release from the US Attorney’s office Southern District of New York.
The case is being handled by the Complex Frauds and Cybercrime Unit of the Office’s Criminal Division.
Link to the indictment Download ho_wan_kwok_et_al_indictment_23_cr._118.pdf_compressed.pdf
If you believe you are a victim of Kwok and Je’s fraud, please contact [email protected] or https://forms.fbi.gov/NY_GTV.