WEST PALM BEACH, Fl. — A Chinese billionaire and Mar-a-lago member was accused of working as a spy for China’s communist government in a federal court filing, Friday.
Guo Wengui is a fugitive from the Chinese government and has been critical of the communist regime. But a civil court filing about a business deal that Guo reportedly helped broker claims that he has previously pledged to support Chinese President Xi Jinping. The pleading them alleges that he is an agent of the Chinese government.
Guo has made several visits to President Trump’s Palm Beach club, taking pictures there in the hotel’s lobby and walking the grounds.
“Claims that Mr. Guo is a Beijing-backed spy utterly lack credibility,” said Daniel Podhaskie, Guo’s attorney, in a statement to CBS12 News.
The allegations emerged in Eastern Profit Corporation Limited v. Strategic Vision US, a civil suit regarding a deal that Guo supposedly helped facilitate. In a court filing, lawyers representing Strategic Vision mentioned audio recordings in which “Guo had professed his personal loyalty to ‘Chairman Xi,’ the leader of the Chinese Community Part and President of the People’s Republic of China.”
Guo’s lawyers told CBS12 News that he has been an outspoken critic of the Chinese government and pointed to other federal civil cases, in which defendants made claims about Guo that two federal courts found defamatory. In those cases, the alleged defamatory comments do refer to Guo as a “communist spy” but also include other allegations that a judge or jury may have found defamatory.
Lawyers for Strategic Vision said Guo’s criticism of the Chinese government may be a cover for influence peddling operations in the United States.
The allegations against Guo come after renewed calls for enhanced security at what President Trump calls the Southern White House. Earlier this month, the U.S. Government asked a federal judge to classify documents in the case of Yujing Zhang, the Chinese national accused of trying to break into Mar-a-lago with malware on a flash drive.
She has plead not guilty and is representing herself in federal court.
Below is the full statement from Mr. Guo’s attorney, Daniel Podhaskie:
"In response to CBS News’ story, Mr. Guo vehemently denies Strategic Vision’s allegations that Mr. Guo is a Beijing-backed spy. Strategic Vision made these assertions in a case where Strategic Visions is a Defendant facing claims for breach of contract and fraud, among other counts. The Court in that case already dismissed Strategic Vision’s claims against Mr. Guo personally and are advanced for no other purpose than spreading rumors about Mr. Guo. (See Eastern Profit Corporation v. Strategic Vision US LLC, Case No.: 18-cv-2185, [SDNY 2018]).
Strategic Vision’s baseless allegations are belied by all credible evidence, and quite frankly, ridiculous. Mr. Guo is the most wanted dissident of the Chinese Communist Party because he is the CCP’s most outspoken and vitriolic critic. In light of his numerous online exposes, the CCP has gone to extensive lengths to harm Mr. Guo personally, professionally and financially.
In the process of waging unrestricted warfare against Mr. Guo, the CCP has arrested 18 of his family members, including his wife, daughter, and brothers, along with 270 of his coworkers and staff for the sole purpose of threatening Mr. Guo. The CCP has unlawfully seized billions of dollars of Mr. Guo’s family’s assets and fabricated fines in excess of USD $13 billion. The CCP has also taken to auctioning off certain of Mr. Guo’s family’s assets at artificially low values. (See Beijing Pangu v. Alibaba, Supreme Court, New York County, Index No.: 159567/2019).
The congressional U.S. China Economic and Security Commission found that Mr. Guo has been the target of an unprecedented Chinese government disinformation campaign to discredit him. The Australian Strategic Policy Institute uncovered that accounts identified by Twitter as being involved in an information operation directed against the protests in Hong Kong were also the same accounts involved in information operations against Mr. Guo. The Institute concluded that Mr. Guo is the CCP’s number 1 target to discredit via social media: “The campaign directed at Guo is by far the most extensive campaign in the dataset and is significantly larger than the activity directed at the Hong Kong protests.
The CCP’s attempts to silence Mr. Guo do not end there. The CCP sent agents to attempt to bring Mr. Guo back to Beijing. And even hacked the server of the U.S. law firm that initially filed his application for asylum. To be clear, Mr. Guo is not and has never been a “dissident hunter.” To the contrary, Mr. Guo has consistently emphasized that his goal is one-fold: to take down the CCP. As such, he has sacrificed unimaginably and has put all of his available resources to that end: to free his fellow countrymen and bring the Rule of Law to China.
Click here for Mr. Guo’s detailed statement refuting the allegations by Strategic Vision and its principals."
Also, a unanimous jury for the Eastern District of Virginia found that statements by Yeliang Xia that Mr. Guo is a spy for the CCP were false, defamatory and awarded Mr. Guo $100,000 as damages.