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Saturday, July 13, 2024 | Back issues
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Former CEO of G CLUBS testifies against mogul Guo Wengui

Guo is accused of scamming his supporters out of more than $1 billion through a series of investment projects related to his relentless anti-communist advocacy.

MANHATTAN (CN) — G CLUBS was advertised as an exclusive membership program for Guo Wengui’s staunchest supporters. Its hefty $10,000 initiation fee was supposed to offer its members one-of-a-kind luxury experiences, like hot air balloon rides over northern Spain or private safaris in the Sahara.

But federal prosecutors claim it was just one of Guo’s many scams.

Guo, also known as Ho Wan Kwok and Miles Guo, is standing trial in federal court on charges that he defrauded his supporters of over $1 billion using phony investment projects related to his relentless advocacy against the Chinese Communist Party.

One of those projects was G CLUBS, an expensive membership service that Guo marketed towards wealthy CCP critics enamored with his anti-communist movement, “New China Federation.” In a video played to the court earlier in the trial, he called the program “the earliest identification card” for members of the movement.

But it was more than that. G CLUBS’s website hawks the program as “an exclusive international community for the luxury-minded.” 

After all, Guo wasn’t shy when it came to money. According to past testimony, he frequently boasted in online videos about the pricey penthouses he inhabited and the “almost extinct” seafood that he ate. He advertised G CLUBS as a way for his members to get a taste of his lifestyle while supporting the anti-CCP movement.

That’s where Limarie Reyes came in. Reyes, a Puerto Rican event planner, was hired to help curate those luxury experiences for G CLUBS members, eventually becoming the CEO of the company until her tumultuous exit in 2023.

Now, Reyes is a key witness for federal prosecutors, who are aiming to prove that Guo and his supposed accomplices were never actually interested in providing exclusive benefits to G CLUBS members, but instead were siphoning the membership cash to fund Guo’s expensive lifestyle and other projects.

“There were some times that I felt not valued,” Reyes said of her time as CEO.

Reyes testified that G CLUBS leadership — which included members of Guo’s inner circle — often overlooked her legitimate contributions to the company and strong-armed her into making million-dollar wire transfers that their own legal department advised her against.

“There was a time that there had been a request to transfer some funds,” Reyes dryly recalled of a $5 million transaction. “Legal representation [advised] not to do so.”

Reyes said that Yvette Wang, a close aide to Guo, pressured her to do the transaction anyway by telling her that “it would be on you” if any problems arose from the funds not going through.

“I felt that it was unfair,” Reyes said. “Because I was relaying a suggestion from counsel.”

Ultimately, Reyes said she signed off on the transfer and got back to work, developing one-of-a-kind benefits for G CLUBS members. She rattled off a list of those perks from the witness stand: hotel discounts, deals on Guo’s clothing line G FASHION, discounts on Formula 1 tickets, access to songs written and sung by Guo, deals on trips to Fiji and Australia — but only for the narrow window of a few weeks.

Reyes admitted that a majority of those benefits cost G CLUBS nothing at all to offer its members, meaning the exorbitant membership fees were effectively pure profit for the company. She seemed disappointed as she recalled that few members took advantage of the offerings.

Prosecutors pulled up blurbs from G CLUBS’s website, which promised experiences like a private-guided safari that Reyes said was never actually offered to its members.

“You have the support of a complete team of professionals that not only crafts unique experiences for your pleasure, but also works with you to fulfill those items that are on your ‘bucket list,’” read one blurb on the G CLUBS site.

Reyes told the court that there was no such “team of professionals.”

“We did not offer it at the time, no,” she said.

G CLUBS was just one of several investment projects prosecutors are claiming Guo used to scam his supporters. Another project, video sharing platform GTV, Guo started alongside MAGA-affiliated media mogul Steve Bannon.

Guo is facing criminal counts of racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud, securities fraud and money laundering, among other charges. If convicted, he could be sentenced to more than 200 years in prison or be deported to China, where he is wanted on accusations of rape, kidnapping and bribery.

Follow @Uebey
Categories / Criminal, International, Trials

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