Epoch Times CFO Arrested, Charged in Money Laundering Scheme

(UnitedVoice.com) – The Epoch Times is one of the most popular conservative websites and newspapers in the country. The site typically has a favorable reputation. Now, one of the website’s executives is caught up in an alleged money laundering scheme that appears to involve China.

CFO Charged

On June 3, the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York announced charges against The Epoch Times Chief Financial Officer Weidong Guan. Prosecutors accused him of participating in a transnational scheme to launder $67 million.

According to the indictment, from 2020 to May 2024, Guan was allegedly involved in a conspiracy with other people to launder millions of dollars. They reportedly sent the money to bank accounts in The Epoch Times’ name and other entities related to the company.

Guan was the head of The Epoch Times’ “Make Money Online” team, located in an unnamed foreign country. The CFO and other participants allegedly purchased the proceeds of crimes with cryptocurrency, including unemployment benefits that were obtained by fraudulent means and loaded onto thousands of prepaid debit cards. They bought the proceeds at about 70 to 80 cents per dollar.

Once the participants in the alleged scheme used stolen identities to open cryptocurrency, bank, and prepaid debit card accounts, they used those accounts to transfer the laundered money back to accounts associated with the media entities. Sometimes, the money was laundered again through Guan’s personal accounts.

The banks questioned Guan about the high number of transactions, but he’s accused of lying to them. He claimed the money came from donations. Prosecutors claim the company’s annual revenue increased 410% because of the money laundering scheme. It went from $15 million in 2019 to $62 million in 2020. It’s not clear if any other executives were involved in the scam or knew about what Guan was allegedly doing.

Prosecutors charged the CFO with two counts of bank fraud, and one count of conspiring to commit money laundering. The crimes carry a combined maximum of 70 years in prison.

Responses to Allegations

Guan has pleaded not guilty to the crimes. The Epoch Times released a statement responding to the indictment. It claimed the newspaper was “founded to counter the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) persecution of innocent people.” Further, the statement said the organization has a guiding principle that focuses on “integrity in its dealings.” It went on to say the company was fully cooperating with the Department of Justice.

Although the media organization believes Guan is innocent until proven guilty, executives suspended him until the criminal case is resolved.

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