Biden’s DOJ Charges Epoch Times CFO In Alleged $67 Million Money Laundering Scheme

The Department of Justice, under the Biden administration, has charged Weidong “Bill” Guan, the chief financial officer of the Epoch Times, in a massive transnational money laundering scheme involving at least $67 million. Guan was arrested on Sunday and faces one count of conspiring to commit money laundering and two counts of bank fraud. The money laundering charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, while each bank fraud charge carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.

Guan is accused of conspiring with others to launder illegally obtained funds into bank accounts associated with the Media Company and related entities between 2020 and May 2024. Although the Epoch Times was not named in the indictment, Guan is listed on the company’s tax filings for the most recent tax year, as reported by ProPublica.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York alleges that Guan managed the company’s “Make Money Online” (MMO) team, which used cryptocurrency to purchase tens of millions of dollars in crime proceeds, including fraudulently obtained unemployment insurance benefits. These benefits were loaded onto tens of thousands of prepaid debit cards and purchased at discounted rates using a particular cryptocurrency platform.

Participants in the scheme allegedly used stolen personal identification information to open various accounts, including bank, cryptocurrency, and prepaid debit card accounts, to transfer the crime proceeds into bank accounts associated with the Media Entities. Some proceeds were also transferred to Guan’s personal bank and cryptocurrency accounts.

Between April 2020 and January 2021, approximately $16.7 million was transferred to Guan’s accounts.

Guan and other employees were reportedly alerted about the suspicious nature of these transactions, indicative of fraud and money laundering. Despite these alerts, Guan allegedly provided false information to banks and claimed the funds were legitimate donations and subscription revenues.

“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,” said 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.”

The Epoch Times responded to the charges by stating, “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 case highlights the ongoing efforts of the DOJ to enforce laws against money laundering and protect the integrity of the U.S. financial system.