Steve Bannon was arrested Thursday off the coast of Connecticut aboard a mega-yacht owned by business associate and Chinese billionaire fugitive Guo Wengui. He was indicted in New York on Thursday for allegedly using the viral “We Build the Wall” fundraising campaign to siphon off money for personal expenses. The notoriously anti-China populist, who has also railed against the “global elites,” was arrested by inspectors from the U.S. Postal Service while cruising Long Island Sound in the $28 million vessel Lady May. Just the day before his arrest, Bannon appeared to host a podcast episode from the yacht and even interviewed We Build the Wall’s founder Brian Kolfage to promote the fundraiser.
It’s wasn’t clear if Guo was also on board the yacht. Guo, who fell out with China’s ruling Community Party, fled to the U.S. in 2014 after being accused of corruption, bribery, kidnapping, rape and other charges. On Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal reported that federal and state authorities were probing a business Bannon launched with Wengui this spring called GTV Media Group. After the company raising more than $300 million in a private offering, at least least two banks froze accounts and both the FBI and Securities and Exchange Commission opened probed into whether the company or associates of Guo violated securities laws through the private share placement.