Three media businesses linked to exiled Chinese businessman Guo Wengui have agreed to pay more than $539 million to settle charges brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The companies are accused of illegally selling stocks and digital assets between April and June 2020.
why it matters: Guo has been linked to pro-Trump allies and groups, including Steve Bannon and Getr, a social media network founded by former Trump aide Jason Miller.
description: according to a Statement The SEC, New York City-based GTV Media Group Inc., Saraca Media Group Inc., and Phoenix, Arizona-based Voice of Goo Media Inc. – All companies linked to Wengui – have been accused of making illegal unregistered offers. GTV Common Stock.
- The SEC also said that it charged GTV and Saraca “for making an illegal unregistered offering of a digital asset security referred to as G-Coin or G-dollar”.
- In total, the three groups collectively raised approximately $487 million from more than 5,000 investors, including US investors. According to the SEC, no registration details were entered or in effect for any of the offerings, which are illegal.
big picture: Guo is known for promoting right-wing misinformation and for having close ties with Bannon.
- In 2019, Nerdshala reported that Guo Media contracted Bannon for “strategic consulting services” for at least $1 million.
- CNBC informed of Last week when Guo is using his online platform GTV to advance unproven drugs to treat the coronavirus, including ivermectin, which is usually operated by right-wing conspirators.
Between the lines: The SEC failed to stop the illegal stock issuance of Goo as it was happening.
- “If the SEC really wants to protect investors and trust in the capital markets,” says Francine McKenna, an assistant professor in American University’s MBA program and editor of the newsletter, dig up“It will focus more on preventing companies from playing too fast with securities laws.”