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HomeDigital AssetsThe Epoch Times implicated in crypto money laundering scheme
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The Epoch Times implicated in crypto money laundering scheme

Weidong “Bill” Guan, 61, of New Jersey, was arrested on Sunday and appeared before a federal judge in New York on Monday. He faces charges of conspiring to commit money laundering and bank fraud, to which he pleaded not guilty.

The proceeds were allegedly “laundered” through a specific cryptocurrency platform and converted into an unspecified cryptocurrency at a rate of 70 to 80 cents on the dollar.

Guan is accused of being part of a “sprawling transnational scheme” to launder at least $67 million into the bank accounts of the New York-based media company and related entities. Federal prosecutors allege that members of the company’s “Make Money Online” team, managed by Guan, used cryptocurrency to knowingly purchase tens of millions of dollars in crime proceeds. These proceeds included funds from fraudulently obtained unemployment benefits that were loaded onto prepaid debit cards.

Prosecutors claim stolen personal information was used to open accounts as part of the laundering scheme. The laundered money was allegedly funneled through other bank accounts held by The Epoch Times and Guan’s personal bank and cryptocurrency accounts.

The Epoch Times was referred to in the indictment as a “multinational media company” and was not named directly. In a statement, the news organization, which is linked to China’s Falun Gong spiritual movement, stated it would cooperate with the federal investigation.

“The Epoch Times has a guiding principle that elevates integrity in its dealings above everything else. The company intends to and will fully cooperate with any investigation dealing with the allegations against Mr. Guan,” the statement read. The company also noted that Guan has been suspended until the matter is resolved.

Prosecutors explain that the charges are not related to the media company’s newsgathering activities. They noted that The Epoch Times’ revenues increased 410%, from $15 million to $62 million, when the alleged money laundering began. Guan allegedly lied to banks about the increase in transactions, attributing it to a rise in legitimate donations.

The Epoch Times has shifted politically conservative over the years and has supported former President Donald Trump, as well as various conspiracy theories.

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