The Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday accused three media companies linked to wealthy Chinese exile Guo Wengui of offering illegal securities.
The companies – New York-based GTV Media Group and Sarca Media Group, as well as Phoenix, Ariz.-Based Voice of Goo Media – have agreed to settle more than $ 539 million, according to the SEC.
The SEC accused GTV, Saraca and Voice of Guo of making an unlawful unregistered offer of GTV common stock. GTV and Saraca have also been accused of illegally offering unregistered digital asset security called G-Coins or G-Dollars.
According to the SEC, the companies raised $ 487 million from more than 5,000 investors from two securities offerings.
GTV Media is also said to have ties to former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon. The Wall Street Journal reported last year that the SEC was considering a fundraising strategy by the company and noted at the time that Bannon was a director of the company.
Bannon and Guo have been close to each other for years. A former adviser to President Donald Trump has been arrested on Goo’s yacht and accused of defrauding hundreds of thousands of donors as part of his “We Build the Wall” fundraising campaign. Bannon pleaded not guilty and was later pardoned by Trump.
The SEC press release does not mention Guo or Bannon by name.
Guo, his associates and some of those same companies were sued earlier this year by investors in a class action lawsuit for allegedly breaking securities laws. Bannon is not mentioned in the lawsuit.
As to the settlement with the SEC, Guo’s affiliates have neither accepted nor denied any of the Commission’s findings. Instead, the SEC says the companies have agreed to a detailed settlement.
“GTV and Sarca a truce to pay combined and multiple grounds for devolution of over $ 434 million, as well as damaging interest of approximately $ 16 million and a civil fine of $ 15 million each.” accepted the cessation order, ”according to the SEC press release.
The SEC statement said, “Voice of Guo accepted the cease and desist order, for payments of over $ 52 million and damaging interest of about $ 2 million, and $ 5 million. dollars for the civilian to pay the penalty. ” “The ordinance establishes an appropriate fund to return the money to aggrieved investors.”