Epoch Times CFO Charged with $67 Million Transnational Money Laundering by Biden’s DOJ

The Biden administration’s Department of Justice has arrested and charged Weidong “Bill” Guan, the chief financial officer of the Epoch Times, with participating in a transnational money laundering scheme involving approximately $67 million. Guan was taken into custody on Sunday and faces one count of conspiring to commit money laundering and two counts of bank fraud, with potential sentences of up to 20 years and 30 years respectively for each charge.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, Guan conspired to launder illegally obtained funds through various bank accounts linked to the Media Company and its affiliates from 2020 to May 2024. The indictment, although not naming the Epoch Times directly, links Guan to the organization through recent tax filings.

Prosecutors allege that Guan oversaw the “Make Money Online” (MMO) team, which used cryptocurrency to buy tens of millions of dollars in crime proceeds, including those from fraudulent unemployment insurance benefits. These proceeds were transferred to various accounts using stolen personal identification information and then funneled into accounts associated with the Media Entities.

The scheme involved purchasing crime proceeds at discounted rates using a specific cryptocurrency platform. Guan’s MMO team and other participants allegedly opened numerous bank, cryptocurrency, and prepaid debit card accounts to facilitate the transfers. From April 2020 to January 2021, about $16.7 million was moved to Guan’s personal accounts, some of which were used to buy more crime proceeds, perpetuating the money laundering operation.

Guan and his team were reportedly warned about the suspicious nature of these financial transactions, yet Guan allegedly provided false explanations to banks, attributing the funds to increases in donations and subscriptions.

“As alleged, Bill Guan… conspired with others to benefit himself, the media company, and its affiliates by laundering tens of millions of dollars in fraudulently obtained unemployment insurance benefits and other crime proceeds,” stated U.S. Attorney Damian Williams. “When banks raised questions about the funds, Guan allegedly lied repeatedly and falsely claimed that the funds came from legitimate donations to the media company.”

In response to the charges, the Epoch Times issued a statement saying, “The company intends to and will fully cooperate with any investigation dealing with the allegations against Mr. Guan. In the interim, although Mr. Guan is innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, the company has suspended him until this matter is resolved.”

This high-profile case underscores the DOJ’s commitment to cracking down on money laundering and maintaining the integrity of the U.S. financial system.