Guo Wengui, Exiled Chinese Billionaire, Charged With Fraud in New York

Guo Wengui, a fugitive Chinese billionaire, was arrested on Wednesday morning in New York on charges that he orchestrated a complex conspiracy to defraud thousands of his online followers out of $1 billion, the authorities said.

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan said Mr. Wengui, 52, was charged with “lining his pockets with the money he stole,” which they said included buying for himself and his close relatives a 50,000-square-foot mansion, a $3.5 million Ferrari and two $36,000 mattresses, as well as financing a $37 million luxury yacht.

Mr. Wengui is a business associate of Stephen K. Bannon, a onetime top adviser to former President Donald J. Trump. It was on a yacht belonging to Mr. Wengui that Mr. Bannon was arrested in a fraud case in August 2020; Mr. Trump later pardoned Mr. Bannon, who had pleaded not guilty, on those charges.

A lawyer for Mr. Wengui had no immediate comment.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated.