TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Three media companies tied to exiled Chinese businessman Guo Wengui (郭文貴) have agreed to pay more than US$539 million (about NT$15 billion) to settle a dispute with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), according to an SEC press release issued on Monday (Sept. 13).
The SEC said the three companies — GTV Media Group Inc., Saraca Media Group Inc., and Voice of Guo Media Inc. — conducted illegal unregistered offerings of common stock.
The commission also charged GTV and Saraca with conducting an unlawful offering of a digital asset security called G-Coins or G-Dollars.
The commission found the three companies disseminated information about the two offerings to the public through videos on the websites of GTV and Saraca as well as on social media platforms such as YouTube and Twitter.
The companies raised a total of approximately US$487 million from more than 5,000 investors, including U.S. investors, the commission said.
According to the commission’s investigation, the three companies offered limited disclosures in their solicitations to purchase the stock, which is against the law.
Guo went into exile in 2014, arrived in the U.S. the following year, and has since founded media companies and participated in other ventures.
The businessman once had ties to senior members of the Chinese leadership and has made explosive accusations against them. He is now well-connected in right-wing political circles in the U.S., with close links to figures like Steve Bannon.