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Chinese business tycoon and Bannon ally Ho Wan Kwok arrested in $1bn fraud conspiracy

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Ho Wan Kwok, a Chinese tycoon with close links to prominent Trumpist Republicans including Steve Bannon, has been indicted on 12 counts relating to an alleged $1bn fraud.The charges announced by the US attorney for the southern district of New York on Wednesday include wire fraud, securities fraud, bank fraud and money laundering.Kin Ming Je, a Hong Kong and UK dual citizen also known as William Je and described as Kwok’s financier, was also named in the charges and faced a further count of obstruction of justice.The US attorney for the SDNY, Damian Williams, said: “As alleged, Ho Wan Kwok, known to many as Miles Guo, led a complex conspiracy to defraud thousands of his online followers out of over $1bn.“Kwok is charged with lining his pockets with the money he stole, including buying himself, and his close relatives, a 50,000 sq ft mansion, a $3.5m Ferrari, and even two $36,000 mattresses, and financing a $37m luxury yacht.”Kwok’s contacts in influential circles have been widely reported.In October 2022, the New Yorker described how his application to buy the penthouse at an exclusive building on Fifth Avenue included “a personal recommendation from Tony Blair, Britain’s former prime minister, [who] said, ‘Miles is honest, forthright and has impeccable taste.’”The same report, however, said that in China, Kwok was “at the center of a burgeoning scandal involving corruption and espionage”.Kwok was also reported to have “paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to Trump advisers, including Steve Bannon, Rudy Giuliani and the attorney L Lin Wood, who joined efforts to overturn the 2020 election”.Bannon, who was Trump’s campaign chair when he was introduced to Kwok during the 2016 election, came to call Kwok “the Donald Trump

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