The Epoch Times CFO charged with $67m cash laundering scheme | EUROtoday

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The chief monetary officer of The Epoch Times information outlet has been arrested over his alleged involvement in an enormous money-laundering scheme.

Federal prosecutors allege that Bill Guan, 61, participated in a world plot to launder no less than $67m (£52m) of unlawful money to learn himself and The Epoch Times.

According to the indictment, Mr Guan led the outlet’s “Make Money Online” staff, which used cryptocurrency to buy tens of tens of millions price of crime proceeds.

Mr Guan has not but entered a plea. If convicted, he may spend greater than 30 years in jail.

The Epoch Times didn’t reply to an instantaneous request for remark. Mr Guan couldn’t be reached by the BBC.

In the 12-page indictment, federal prosecutors detailed the alleged plan, which they are saying started round 2020.

The plot, prosecutors mentioned, was easy: members of the Make Money Online (MMO) staff would buy crime proceeds by way of cryptocurrency at a reduction and switch these proceeds into financial institution accounts held by entities affiliated with newspaper.

The unlawful proceeds would finally be moved again into The Epoch Times accounts by way of “tens of thousands of layered transactions”, together with by way of pay as you go debit playing cards and monetary accounts opened utilizing stolen identification info.

According to the indictment, for years the scheme labored to enriched The Epoch Times, pumping tens of tens of millions of {dollars} into the paper.

Coinciding with the time Mr Guan got here up with the alleged scheme, the outlet’s inside accounting confirmed its annual income balloon by some 410% – from $15m in 2019 to roughly $62m the next yr.

When banks requested Mr Guan the place the surge of cash was coming from he lied, claiming the funds got here from “donations”, prosecutors mentioned.

Mr Guan has been charged with one depend of conspiring to commit cash laundering and two counts of financial institution fraud.

Prosecutors famous these fees “do not relate to the Media Company [The Epoch Times’] newsgathering activities”.

Founded in 2000, The Epoch Times started as a small, low-budget newspaper handed out without spending a dime in New York.

It was began by Chinese-Americans affiliated with a spiritual group referred to as Falun Gong.

In the years since, it has grown into purportedly one of many US’s strongest conservative information organisations and a house to conspiracy theories, right-wing misinformation and sharp opposition to the Chinese Communist Party.

They boast tens of tens of millions of social media followers and on-line audiences that match or rival that of websites like The Daily Caller and Breitbart News.