On March 15, 2023, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York unsealed a twelve-count Indictment that charges Ho Wan Kwok (“Kwok”) and his financier, Kin Ming Je (“Je”), with various sprawling schemes – including one involving cryptocurrency – in which the defendants solicited investments in several entities and other programs via fraudulent misrepresentations to hundreds of thousands of Kwok’s online followers. Moreover, the Indictment alleges that Kwok and Je misappropriated hundreds of millions of dollars in fraudulently obtained funds during the conspiracy.
Specifically, the Indictment charges Kwok with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, securities fraud, bank fraud, and money laundering. He was also charged with the underlying acts of wire fraud, securities fraud, international “promotional” money laundering (in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1956(a)(2)(A)), international “concealment” money laundering (in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1956(a)(2)(B)(i)), and “spending” money laundering (in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1957), with the last charge resting on a single $100 million wire transfer. Je was also charged with these crimes, in addition to obstruction of justice.
In regards to the money laundering schemes, the Indictment alleges that the defendants attempted to conceal the source of their illicit proceeds by transferring “money into and through more than approximately 500 accounts held in the names of at least 80 different entities or individuals[,]” through bank accounts in the U.S., the Bahamas, and the United Arab Emirates (“UAE”). Further, the Indictment alleges that the defendants used over $300 million of fraudulent proceeds for the benefit of themselves and their family members. The Indictment therefore contains a detailed notice of forfeiture, listing numerous assets that allegedly constituted or were derived from proceeds traceable to the charged offenses. These assets include numerous bank account balances collectively amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars, as well as a luxurious mansion in New Jersey, several extremely high-end automobiles, and a 46-meter “superyacht.” The government’s press release includes photos of some of these assets, included in the visual above.
Continue Reading Indictment Alleges Investor Fraud of Over $1 Billion – And Elaborate Money Laundering and Lavish Spending