Epoch Times CFO Charged in $67 Million Crypto Money Laundering Scheme

Epoch Times CFO Charged in $67 Million Crypto Money Laundering Scheme

Bill Guan, the chief financial officer of The Epoch Times, a far-right international media company, has been charged in connection with a $67 million cryptocurrency laundering scheme. U.S. federal prosecutors unsealed an indictment on June 3, accusing Weidong “Bill” Guan of participating in a transnational conspiracy to launder illicit funds through crypto transactions.

According to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, Guan, who was arrested on Monday, conspired with others to funnel $67 million of illegally obtained funds into bank accounts under the names of The Epoch Times and related entities. The scheme, orchestrated by a group known as the “Make Money Online” (MMO) team, allegedly involved the use of cryptocurrency to launder the proceeds of various crimes, including fraudulent unemployment insurance claims. These claims were typically acquired at discounted rates on a specific cryptocurrency platform.

“The crime proceeds were generally purchased by the scheme participants, including members of the MMO Team and others working with them, using a particular cryptocurrency platform, at discounted rates of approximately 70 to 80 cents per dollar, and in exchange for cryptocurrency,” stated the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams remarked that when banks inquired about the origin of the funds, Guan “allegedly lied repeatedly and falsely claimed that the funds came from legitimate donations to the media company.”

The Department of Justice also revealed that the Media Company’s internal financial records showed a dramatic revenue increase around the time the money laundering scheme began, with annual revenue rising approximately 410% — from about $15 million to roughly $62 million.

Guan is now facing serious charges, including one count of conspiring to commit money laundering, which carries a potential 20-year prison sentence, and two counts of bank fraud, each punishable by up to 30 years in prison. The Department of Justice emphasized that these charges are specific to Guan’s actions and do not implicate The Epoch Times’ operations.

The Epoch Times, founded in 2000 to counter Chinese Communist Party propaganda, operates in dozens of countries and publishes in over 20 languages. This legal development marks a significant blow to the media company’s financial and operational integrity.


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