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The U.S. arrests an Epoch Times executive on suspicion of money laundering

Time2024-06-05     AuthoradminReserved   Fromdaaixq.com   Read

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Pictured: Epoch Times' advertising booth on the street

THE UNITED STATES HAS ARRESTED THE EPOCH TIMES' CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER (CFO), GUAN WEI DONG, WHO IS LINKED TO THE FALUN GONG RELIGIOUS GROUP AND IS SUSPECTED OF INVOLVEMENT IN LARGE-SCALE MONEY LAUNDERING. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Mr. Guan, 61, is charged with laundering money with $67 million worth of illegal funds. He is accused of leading an "online revenue generation" team that uses cryptocurrencies to buy crime proceeds and launder them through bank accounts held by The Epoch Times.

If convicted, Guan could face up to 20 years for money laundering and up to 30 years for bank fraud.

The Epoch Times issued a statement on Monday night saying it would "fully cooperate" with the investigation and suspend Mr. Guan from his post until the issue was resolved. However, the outlet declined to answer specific questions about the "online revenue generation" team.

The 12-page indictment shows that the U.S. federal investigation into the case has been going on for four years. Prosecutors allege team members with using cryptocurrency to buy the proceeds of crime at a discounted price and then transfer the funds to The Epoch Times' bank account.

The illicit funds ended up in "tens of thousands of tiered transactions" into The Epoch Times' account, generating tens of millions of dollars in revenue for the paper over the years.

The fraud in which Mr. Guan was allegedly involved is believed to have contributed to the significant increase in The Epoch Times' annual revenue, which increased from $15 million in 2019 to about $62 million the following year.

According to prosecutors, when the bank asked Guan about the source of the suddenly increased funds, he lied that the funds came from donations.

Guan Weidong was charged with one count of money laundering conspiracy and two counts of bank fraud.

Founded in 2000 by Chinese Falun Gong adherents in the United States, The Epoch Times has grown to become the leading conservative media outlet in the United States, known for spreading conspiracy theories, right-wing misinformation, and fierce anti-government activism.

In 2019, Facebook banned the Epoch Times' ads on its platform after it found that the Epoch Times violated transparency rules by hiding ad buying.


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