Epoch Times’ CFO Is Accused Of Money Laundering Scheme Worth Millions

(NewsReady.com) – Chinese Americans founded The Epoch Times in 2000 as a counter to the Chinese government’s propaganda. The company grew from putting out a free newspaper in New York City to a media empire in English and Chinese. The chief financial officer of the company is now accused of a massive money laundering scheme.

On June 3, the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York announced charges against Weidong Guan, also known as Bill Guan, for participating in a transnational scheme to launder $67 million to benefit The Epoch Times and himself. According to the indictment, Guan was the chief financial officer of the company and also ran the “Make Money Online” division.

Prosecutors claim the defendant and his accomplices spent cryptocurrency to buy crime proceeds. That included using the digital currency to purchase thousands of prepaid debit cards that had unemployment benefits illegally loaded onto them. They used a platform that allowed them to buy them at a discounted rate of about 70 to 80 cents per dollar.

After the defendant and his accomplices made the purchases, they stole people’s personal identifying information and used it to open bank accounts. Then they transferred the crime proceeds into those accounts, which were associated with media entities linked to The Epoch Times. The money was then transferred out of those accounts and put into other bank accounts owned by the media company. From there, the alleged criminals further laundered the money by sending it to Guan’s cryptocurrency accounts, his bank accounts, and accounts owned by The Epoch Times.

At approximately the same time the money laundering scheme began, The Epoch Times saw its revenue increase from about $15 million to $62 million—a 410% increase. When the banks contacted Guan to notify him of an increase in activity, he allegedly lied and said that was because of donations to the company.

Guan has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.

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