The Wall Street Journal reported that a media company linked to former Trump adviser Steve Bannon is under federal investigation before he was arrested for a separate scheme related to a private border wall campaign.
Bannon was arrested by US Postal Service investigators on a boat belonging to fugitive Chinese businessman Guo Wengui on Thursday.
Bannon was charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering after he allegedly funneled $1 million from the “We Build the Wall” crowdfunding campaign, which raised more than $25 million to build a privately-funded stretch of border wall.
Media deal under investigation:
The FBI and Securities and Exchange Committee are investigating a media company linked to Bannon and Wengui that raised more than $300 million this year, according to the Journal.
Banks have frozen accounts tied to the company, GTV Media Group, according to the report.
The investigators are looking at whether the company or Wengui’s associates violated securities laws.
The New York Attorney General is investigating the matter as well.
Wengui is one of China’s most-wanted fugitives and Bannon is listed as a company director on public documents.
Investors want refunds:
After the company raised $300 million, some investors demanded refunds because they never received official documents confirming their investment in the company.
GTV Media said in a statement that “all of the raised funds are intact” and it is prepared to cooperate with any investigation.
The company did not register the deal with the SEC, according to the report, and some investors were told they could invest in the company through a separate entity owned by Wengui.