Steve Bannon ally indicted in $1 billion fraud conspiracy
Steve Bannon at Bloggers Briefing in October 19, 2010 (Don Irvine/Flickr)

Ho Wan Kwok, a Chinese-born financier who also goes by the name of Guo Wengui and who is closely allied with right-wing podcaster Steve Bannon, was arrested on Wednesday and charged as part of what federal prosecutors say is a $1 billion fraud conspiracy.

In a Department of Justice press release, the DOJ alleges that Kwok was charged due to his involvement in "an alleged sprawling and complex scheme by the defendants, and others, to solicit investments in various entities and programs through false statements and representations to hundreds of thousands of Kwok's online followers."

At the center of the charges are allegations that Kwok lied to his social media followers about being able to reap massive financial windfalls if they invested in the GTV Media Group, a video platform that he and Bannon founded in 2020.

According to U.S. Attorney Damian Williams, Kwok took his supporters' money and splurged on multiple high-end luxury items including "a 50,000 square foot mansion, a $3.5 million Ferrari, and even two $36,000 mattresses, and financing a $37 million luxury yacht.

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In all, Kwok is facing multiple criminal charges, including wire fraud, securities fraud, bank fraud, and money laundering.

Although Bannon has not been charged as part of the scheme, he is currently facing New York state charges of defrauding investors in the "We Build the Wall" crowdfunding project, and he has been convicted of criminal contempt of Congress for his refusal to participate in the House Select Committee's investigation into the January 6th Capitol riots.