September 23, 2023

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Chinese language businessman seeks bail and residential detention in CT in $1 billion fraud case

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NEW YORK (AP) — Attorneys for a rich self-exiled Chinese language businessman who developed ties to Trump administration figures together with Steve Bannon are searching for bail for him two weeks after his arrest, saying different defendants accused of large frauds like Bernard Madoff and Sam Bankman-Fried had been freed on bail.

The legal professionals submitted papers in Manhattan federal court docket, saying Guo Wengui is entitled to bail simply as different rich defendants have been given the prospect to put up bail up to now. Additionally they challenged claims by prosecutors that he’s a danger to flee, saying he wouldn’t depart his spouse of 38 years and his daughter as all three search asylum.

Madoff was free for a number of months in late 2008 and early 2009 earlier than he was jailed after he pleaded responsible in a multibillion-dollar fraud. He was later sentenced to 150 years in jail and died behind bars.

Bankman-Fried, 31, was arrested within the Bahamas in December in what a prosecutor known as one in all largest frauds in American historical past. He agreed to return to america, the place he was freed with GPS monitoring on a $250 million private recognizance bond after pleading not responsible to fees that he oversaw an enormous cryptocurrency fraud.

Guo’s legal professionals proposed a $25 million bail package deal, together with $5 million in money or property, together with location monitoring and residential detention at a Connecticut residence the place his spouse resides. Additionally they stated Guo can be subjected to 24-hour surveillance by a safety firm with not less than one guard on the premises always.

A spokesperson for prosecutors declined remark Friday.

Prosecutors filed a detention letter on the time of Guo’s arrest, saying he was a severe flight danger and a hazard to the general public as a result of his crimes, which they stated resulted in robbing 1000’s of people of cash, had been “ongoing and regularly evolving.” They stated he was more likely to flee due to his wealth, robust proof of guilt and ties overseas.

Guo, 54, was arrested on numerous fees, together with wire, securities and financial institution fraud on March 15 in what was described as a $1 billion fraud. He agreed to be detained on the time, however a lawyer indicated bail would later be sought.

Guo’s legal professionals wrote that since immigrating to america in 2015, Guo traveled overseas solely thrice and never as soon as since 2017. They stated Chinese language authorities would trigger him to “face insupportable dangers to his life” had been he to depart america. Additionally they wrote that he was not a hazard to others, particularly with strict bail circumstances.

Prosecutors stated the costs stemmed from a fancy scheme by which Guo and others lied to tons of of 1000’s of on-line followers earlier than misappropriating tons of of tens of millions of {dollars}.

On the time of Guo’s arrest, U.S. Lawyer Damian Williams stated Guo had lived lavishly off the proceeds of his crimes, together with by buying a 50,000-square-foot mansion, a $3.5 million Ferrari, two $36,000 mattresses and a $37 million luxurious yacht.

Guo was as soon as believed to be among the many richest folks in China. He left in 2014 throughout an anti-corruption crackdown led by President Xi Jinping that ensnared folks near Guo, together with a high intelligence official. Chinese language authorities have accused Guo of rape, kidnapping, bribery and different offenses.

Guo has lengthy argued that the allegations in opposition to him in China had been false, saying they had been supposed to punish him for publicly outing corruption there and criticizing main figures within the Communist Celebration.

It was on Guo’s 150-foot (45-meter) yacht that Bannon was as soon as arrested on federal fees in Connecticut waters. Simply earlier than he left workplace, then-President Donald Trump made the case in opposition to Bannon dissolve with a pardon.

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