DOJ Charges Epoch Times Exec with Laundering $67M Using Cryptocurrency

The US Department of Justice (DoJ) indicted Bill Guan, the chief financial officer of Epoch Times, on Tuesday.

The DOJ alleges that Guan was involved in an international scheme to launder around $67 million of illicit funds using cryptocurrency.

The Scam

From 2020 to May 2024, Bill Guan engaged in a large-scale international money laundering scheme, collaborating with others to launder approximately $67 million of illegal funds into the bank accounts of his media company and its related entities, according to the official press release by DOJ.

Guan managed the company’s “Make Money Online” (MMO) team, operating from a foreign office, to facilitate the scheme. Under his direction, the team used cryptocurrency to purchase tens of millions of dollars in illicit proceeds, mainly from fraudulently obtained unemployment benefits loaded onto prepaid debit cards.

These crime proceeds were bought at discounted rates of 70 to 80 cents per dollar via a specific cryptocurrency platform and then exchanged for digital assets. Stolen personal identification information was used to open various accounts, including prepaid debit card accounts, cryptocurrency accounts, and bank accounts, to transfer the illicit funds into the media company’s bank accounts.

Around the time the money laundering scheme began, the Media Company’s annual revenue surged by approximately 410%, from about $15 million to $62 million. When banks questioned Guan about the increased transactions, he allegedly lied and instead claimed that the funds were from donations.

However, in 2022, Guan wrote to a congressional office, falsely stating that donations made up “an insignificant portion of the overall revenue” of the Media Company.

Potential 80-Year Sentence

The 61-year-old exec from Secaucus, New Jersey, now faces charges for conspiracy to commit money laundering, which could result in a maximum 20-year prison sentence and two counts of bank fraud, each carrying a potential 30-year sentence.

Commenting on the allegations, US Attorney Damian Williams said,

“As alleged, Bill Guan, the Chief Financial Officer of a global newspaper and media company, 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.

Today’s charges reflect this Office’s ongoing commitment to vigorously enforcing the laws against those who facilitate fraud through money laundering and to protecting the integrity of the U.S. financial system.”

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