Several newly resurfaced videos show former Trump adviser Steve Bannon promoting allegedly fraudulent schemes perpetrated by his longtime associate and former financial backer Miles Guo, also known as Ho Wan Kwok.
Federal prosecutors arrested Guo on Wednesday on allegations that he ran a sprawling $1 billion fraud and money laundering scam, according to an unsealed indictment released the same day. Shortly after the news broke, Media Matters reported that Bannon had promoted some of the elements of Guo’s scheme that were included in the indictment.
Guo’s alleged wide-ranging conspiracy included a faux-cryptocurrency “ecosystem” called Himalaya Exchange, including a digital asset called H Coin. Unlike most cryptocurrencies, the coins in Himalaya Exchange weren’t tradable with other digital currencies unless they were first converted to U.S. dollars — requests which the platform could deny at its “discretion” — according to the indictment. Guo also ran a suite of media properties, including a broadcast service called GTV, which he used to allegedly defraud investors through selling stock in the company and pocketing the deposits, rather than investing them in the business.
The new videos raise further questions about Bannon’s potential involvement in Guo’s activities. In a video published November 17, 2021, Bannon promoted Himalaya Exchange and H Coin, shortly after the coin was publicly offered.
“I think the H Coin team and the Himalaya Exchange team is to be congratulated,” Bannon said. “I believe it’s the first time anybody's ever — in 2 weeks, we have $27 billion of market cap.”
Bannon then went on to praise a laundry list of Guo’s ventures, several of which are included in the indictment.
“One of the things about Miles, in my time of knowing him — just the, you know, the music, the fashion, GNews, GTV, association with Gettr, all these things you see popping off has been such successes really in such a short period of time,” Bannon said.
Last April, Guo allegedly illegally transferred $37 million from Himalaya Exchange to cover costs of his personal luxury yacht. Postal service agents arrested Bannon on Guo’s yacht in August 2020, for allegations of defrauding investors in the failed “We Build the Wall” scam.
Two other videos come from a panel discussion in September 2021, that included Guo, Bannon, former Trump trade adviser Peter Navarro, and former Trump campaign adviser Jason Miller. At the time of the event, Miller was CEO of Twitter competitor Gettr, another project backed by Guo. As part of the investigation against Guo, authorities seized over $2.7 million from a Gettr bank account in September 2022, according to the indictment. This February, Miller resigned from Gettr to join Trump’s 2024 campaign.
The panel discussion was in celebration of Guo and Bannon’s joint venture called the New Federal State of China, a rebranding of the so-called whistleblowers movement. Bannon hoped the NFSC would become a “government in exile” that could seize power once the Chinese Communist Party was destroyed, a goal he and Guo shared.
“No matter what the CCP does, it’s impossible to take down this movement,” Bannon said. “The whistleblower movement, the New Federal State, the Rule of Law, GTV and G News — GTV and G News are five times bigger than a year ago.”
Guo founded two nonprofits — the Rule of Law Foundation and the Rule of Law Society — both of which are named in the indictment as vehicles he used in furtherance of the conspiracy. Bannon was on the board of the Rule of Law Society but reportedly resigned at some point in the summer of 2020.
Earlier in the panel, Bannon made many of the same points about Guo’s various projects.
“The New Federal State, the whistleblower movement the Rule of Law Society and Foundation, Gettr, G Fashion, all this — what the world is seeing is a new China and a new Chinese,” Bannon said.
Although G Fashion is not mentioned in the indictment, another similarly branded company of Guo’s called G Clubs was allegedly a central pillar in the scheme to defraud investors.
Last June, the NFSC celebrated its second anniversary, and Bannon again promoted Guo’s ventures, praising “G Fashion and Gettr and all these different companies that have been brought together,” which also include “a news organization, … that you can stay on GNews 24 hours a day and get incredible news.”
At the same event, Guo underlined his pitch to potential investors. “Lots of investors trust us because we are in business in America,” Guo said as Bannon sat beside him. “Because they trust, believe us — we really can take down the CCP.”
Hours after Guo was taken into custody, a fire broke out at his luxury Sherry-Netherland penthouse in Manhattan. The blaze is still under investigation.