Steve Bannon’s Billionaire Benefactor Was Just Fined $539 Million – By Dan Friedman (Mother Jones) / Sept 13 2021
Guo Wengui’s media empire raised funds through an illegal private offering, the SEC says. Now it’s paying a colossal penalty.
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The Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday announced a whopping $539 million fine against three companies linked to exiled Chinese businessman Guo Wengui—including one company that former Donald Trump adviser Steve Bannon helped to found.
The SEC said the three companies—GTV Media Group, Saraca Media Group Inc., and Voice of Guo Media Inc.—last year raised $487 million from more than 5,000 investors without registering with the agency or providing investors with financial disclosures required under securities laws. Saraca is the parent company of GTV, which operates a social media platform and other media ventures. Voice of Guo was involved in raising money for GTV. Bannon has played a key role in Guo’s overall media business, working as a paid consultant and as a director of GTV, which he helped launch. A source familiar with companies said Bannon is no longer employed by Guo’s businesses.
The New York attorney general’s office announced Monday that it had also settled its own investigation into GTV and Saraca, the two New York–based firms involved in the stock offering.