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Disinformation Network Linked To Former Trump Advisor Steve Bannon Charged By US Authorities; Agrees To Settle $539 Million In Fines

October 14th, 2021 15:18

The US Secu­ri­ties and Exchange Com­mis­sion (SEC), a fed­er­al agency that enforces the law against mar­ket manip­u­la­tion, report­ed last month that it has charged three media com­pa­nies that are part of a dis­in­for­ma­tion net­work linked to for­mer Trump advi­sor Steve Ban­non and exiled Chi­nese busi­ness­man Guo Wen­gui. Accord­ing to an SEC press release, the charges involve ille­gal cryp­tocur­ren­cy sales:

Sep­tem­ber 13, 2021 The Secu­ri­ties and Exchange Com­mis­sion today charged New York City-based GTV Media Group Inc. and Sara­ca Media Group Inc., and Phoenix, Ari­zona-based Voice of Guo Media Inc., with con­duct­ing an ille­gal unreg­is­tered offer­ing of GTV com­mon stock. The SEC also announced charges against GTV and Sara­ca for con­duct­ing an ille­gal unreg­is­tered offer­ing of a dig­i­tal asset secu­ri­ty referred to as either G‑Coins or G‑Dollars. The respon­dents have agreed to pay more than $539 mil­lion to set­tle the SEC’s action.

Accord­ing to the SEC’s order, from April through June 2020, the respon­dents gen­er­al­ly solicit­ed thou­sands of indi­vid­u­als to invest in the GTV stock offer­ing. Dur­ing the same peri­od, GTV and Sara­ca solicit­ed indi­vid­u­als to invest in the dig­i­tal asset offer­ing. The order finds that the respon­dents dis­sem­i­nat­ed infor­ma­tion about the two offer­ings to the gen­er­al pub­lic through pub­licly avail­able videos on GTV’s and Sara­ca’s web­sites, as well as on social media plat­forms such as YouTube and Twit­ter. Through these two secu­ri­ties offer­ings, whose pro­ceeds were com­min­gled, the respon­dents col­lec­tive­ly raised approx­i­mate­ly $487 mil­lion from more than 5,000 investors, includ­ing U.S. investors. As stat­ed in the order, no reg­is­tra­tion state­ments were filed or in effect for either offer­ing, and the respon­dents’ offers and sales did not qual­i­fy for an exemp­tion from registration.

Read the rest here.

GTV Media Group, Sara­ca Media Group, and Voice of Guo Media are part of a dis­in­for­ma­tion net­work push­ing anti-Chi­nese gov­ern­ment pro­pa­gan­da and US elec­tion and Covid-19 false­hoods. The net­work was set up by exiled Chi­nese busi­ness­man Guo Wen­gui and for­mer Trump advi­sor Steve Ban­non who in 2019 was paid at least $1 mil­lion for “strate­gic con­sult­ing ser­vices” by Guo Media, anoth­er orga­ni­za­tion part of the same network.