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The Messy Money Drama Behind Steve Bannon’s Propaganda Machine

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25.09.2021

A wild fight has erupted within the sprawling finance and propaganda apparatus former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon co-founded with a fugitive Chinese billionaire.

The battle involves an organization Bannon inaugurated at the Statue of Liberty last year with Guo Wengui, a Chinese disinformation kingpin, and hostilities broke out even before the SEC this month charged companies linked to Guo with unregistered stock and cryptocurrency sales. But a federal probe into the dealings had been underway for months, and a key contention in a new lawsuit is that money intended to bankroll the duo’s vision of a vast anti-Beijing network instead went toward paying back irate investors in illicit transactions.

Guo has long been a key financier of Trumpworld ventures, including the conservative social media app Gettr. When federal authorities charged Bannon last August with defrauding a nonprofit, they collared him on the deck of Guo’s massive $28 million yacht. Former President Donald Trump eventually pardoned Bannon for any wrongdoing.

Neither Bannon nor Guo is a party in the lawsuit (just as neither was charged in the SEC order). Instead, the plaintiff is a mysterious entity called Mountains of Spices LLC, while the top defendant is Sara Lihong Wei Lafrenz, co-director of a nonprofit Bannon and Guo started in 2018. The amended complaint filed in Arizona federal court on Sept. 16 reveals the inner workings of the web of professed anti-Communist exiles Bannon and Guo........

© The Daily Beast


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