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‘The real Miles Guo’: Prosecutors lead with expletive-laden tape in close of $1 billion fraud case

"Fuck off, fuck off," Guo yelled at a subordinate on a 2021 phone call, played to the court on Wednesday during the prosecution's summation.

MANHATTAN (CN) — Federal prosecutors in the $1 billion fraud case of MAGA-affiliated Chinese dissident Guo Wengui started their closing arguments with a bang Wednesday.

“Just shut up. Shame on you. Shameless bastard, go to hell,” Guo was heard yelling in Mandarin in a 2021 recorded phone call played to the court. “Fuck off, fuck off.”

Prosecutors say the recording was done in secret by one of Guo’s subordinates on the phone meeting, which was called by Guo to coordinate the movement of $100 million from his G CLUBS company. Guo supposedly wanted to do this without board approval, which could have run him afoul of U.S. regulators.

When those concerns were raised, Guo exploded.

“You bastard, get the fuck out of here!” he continued.

Prosecutors said this clip perfectly embodies how Guo ran his crime empire — with ruthlessness, impatience and vengeance. 

“That’s the real Miles Guo,” prosecutor Ryan Finkel told jurors on Wednesday after playing the recording. “The person that [he] never thought his followers would hear.”

Guo, also known as Ho Wan Kwok and Miles Guo, is standing trial 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.

The trial, now in its seventh week, culminated with roughly six hours of summations Wednesday. Finkel used the time to tell the Manhattan jurors how Guo framed his anti-communist agenda to bilk his followers out of their hard-earned cash.

“He engaged in a racketeering RICO conspiracy,” Finkel said. “That’s what he did. That’s why he is guilty.”

Finkel outlined the promises Guo made to his fans, enamored with his disdain for the Chinese ruling party and eager to dump thousands into his numerous business projects. Time and time again, Guo guaranteed his supporters big returns on their investments, and assured them that he would be personally liable for any losses.

“If anyone loses money, please come to me. I will be responsible,” Guo said in one video broadcast played in court Wednesday.

“As long as you lose a penny, I will be responsible for it,” he said in another.

None of that was true, Finkel said. In reality, prosecutors say Guo used his investors’ money to fund his life of excess, indulging himself with expensive cars, designer clothes and a New Jersey mansion — all on his donors’ dime and all based on empty promises.

To urge investment in G CLUBS, Finkel said Guo promised shares of GTV, his video-sharing platform founded alongside Trump White House advisor Steve Bannon. According to testimony from several purported witnesses, those shares were never delivered.

Guo also promised G CLUBS investors various luxurious perks, such as discounts on vacations, access to exclusive events and the use of a red Lamborghini Aventador — which was eventually found in Guo’s garage during a federal raid. The keys, Finkel said, were on Guo’s kitchen counter.

All the while, Guo continued to insist that he needed his supporters’ money to fight communism in China. 

“This was a scheme, this was a fraud, this was a con. And that man, Miles Guo, was behind all of it,” Finkel said pointing dramatically at Guo, who was seated at the defense table with a light smirk.

But Guo’s actions were far from that of a con man, according to his lawyer Sidhardha Kamaraju. Instead, they were that of a man being terrorized by the Chinese Communist Party for speaking out against their “murderous” regime.

“It’s not a racketeering enterprise,” Kamaraju said in his closing. “It’s a political one.”

Kamaraju emphasized the role Guo’s political activism played in his businesses, from G CLUBS to GTV. He argued that Guo’s investors weren’t merely sending him cash to make a quick buck, they were doing it to support Guo’s advocacy against communism. 

“You cannot take the movement out of this,” Kamaraju said.

It was the movement, not money, that drove Guo’s every step, Kamaraju said. He argued that making investors rich was Guo’s attempt to “spit in the eye of the CCP.” 

Plus, Guo was actively in the CCP’s crosshairs, Kamaraju said. He referenced testimony from George Higginbotham, a former Justice Department employee who testified to being part of an illegal scheme to influence the Trump administration to extradite Guo back to China.

Kamaraju argued that efforts like this explain Guo’s unorthodox business practices.

“It may seem paranoid to us,” Kamaraju said. “But we don’t have the Higginbothams of the world plotting against us.”

Prosecutors acknowledged Wednesday that Guo was indeed a top target for the CCP, and agree that there have been multiple attempts to silence Guo for his activism against the party. Finkel argued that shouldn’t matter to the jury, though. He reiterated that this is a fraud case, and whether Guo was targeted for his dissidence by the Chinese government should play no role.

“It doesn’t give him a license to rob these people,” Finkel said.

The case isn’t in the jury’s hands just yet. Proceedings resume Thursday morning at the Manhattan federal courthouse, which has been packed to the brim with Guo’s fervent supporters, so Kamaraju can wrap up his closing.

After that, the jury will determine Guo’s fate. Guo could face more than 200 years in prison if convicted on charges of racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud, securities fraud, money laundering and other charges. He could also be deported to China, where he is wanted on accusations of rape, kidnapping and bribery.

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Categories / Criminal, International, Politics

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