Feds seized $2.7 million of Chinese billionaire’s money from Trump-aligned social network
Federal authorities seized nearly $3 million from Gettr last September as part of a sweeping $1 billion fraud investigation against a Chinese billionaire.
On Wednesday, the Justice Department arrested Chinese billionaire and dissident Guo Wengui, also known as Ho Wan Kwok and Miles Guo, for allegedly defrauding thousands of people out of more than $1 billion. Authorities said Guo committed massive fraud through a complex web of investment schemes that has now entangled the Trump-aligned social network Gettr.
Guo, an exiled Chinese dissident living in Manhattan, is a prominent Trump supporter and friend of Steve Bannon. A 2021 daily beast report revealed that Guo was an original investor in Gettr, where he boasts nearly 900,000 subscribers at press time. Jason Miller, a longtime Trump adviser and former CEO of Gettr, played down Guo’s role in the company at the time. In the indictment, prosecutors allege that Guo manipulated his online audience into investing millions in cryptocurrency and anti-CCP media scams.
Guo’s indictment calls into question the extent of his influence on conservative social network Gettr
Guo’s indictment calls into question the extent of his influence on the conservative social network Gettr. As part of the Justice Department investigation, authorities seized a total of $634 million from 21 different bank accounts last September. About $2.7 million of that money was held in a Gettr account, according to the indictment.
Gettr did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Gettr was launched in June 2021 as a “free speech” alternative to more traditional social networks like Facebook and Twitter. The launch came on the heels of Trump’s suspensions on major platforms following the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
Miller left Gettr to join the former president’s 2024 campaign last month. A familiar source said The edge Wednesday that a majority of Gettr employees were laid off at the end of February. Several of Guo’s Gettr live streams were also filmed at the company’s New York offices, the source said.
Guo, meanwhile, is said to have earned millions through his various schemes. “Kwok is accused of lining his pockets with money he stole, including buying himself and his close relatives a 50,000 square foot mansion, a $3.5 million Ferrari dollars and even two $36,000 mattresses, and to finance a $37 million luxury yacht,” U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement Wednesday.