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Media companies linked to Chinese exile Guo Wengui reach $ 539 million SEC settlement




Runaway Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui holds a press conference on November 20, 2018 in New York City, on the occasion of the death of tycoon Wang Jian in France on July 3, 2018. – Guo was introduced by Steve Bannon, former strategist in head of the White House.

Don Emmert | AFP | Getty Images

The Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday accused three media companies linked to wealthy Chinese exile Guo Wengui of making illegal securities offers.

New York-based companies GTV Media Group and Saraca Media Group, as well as Phoenix, Arizona-based Voice of Guo Media, have agreed to settle more than $ 539 million, according to the SEC.

The SEC accused GTV, Saraca and Voice of Guo of making an unlawful unregistered offer of GTV common stock. GTV and Saraca have also been charged with an unlawful unregistered offering of a digital asset security called G-Coins or G-Dollars.

The companies raised $ 487 million from more than 5,000 investors from the two securities offerings, according to the SEC.

GTV Media is also said to have ties to former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon. The Wall Street Journal reported last year that the SEC was investigating the company’s fundraising tactics and noted at the time that Bannon was a corporate director.

Bannon and Guo have been close for years. Former adviser to President Donald Trump was stopped on Guo’s yacht and was accused of defrauding hundreds of thousands of donors as part of his “We’re Building the Wall” fundraising campaign. Bannon pleaded not guilty and was later pardoned by Trump.

The SEC Press Release does not mention Guo or Bannon by name.

Guo, his associates and some of the same companies were sued by investors in a class action lawsuit earlier this year for allegedly breaking securities laws. Bannon is not mentioned in the lawsuit.

As for the settlement with the SEC, companies linked to Guo have neither admitted nor denied any of the commission’s findings. Instead, the SEC says the companies have agreed to a detailed settlement.

“GTV and Saraca have agreed to a cease and desist order, to pay restitution in excess of $ 434 million plus pre-judgment interest of approximately $ 16 million on a joint and several basis, and to each pay a civil fine of $ 15 million, “according to the SEC press release.

“Voice of Guo accepted a cease and desist order, to pay restitution of over $ 52 million plus pre-judgment interest of nearly $ 2 million, and to pay a civil fine of $ 5 million. dollars, “the SEC statement read. “The ordinance establishes a fair fund to return money to aggrieved investors.”




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