Hedge Fund Pacific Alliance Sues Chinese Billionaire Guo Wengui for $88M Amid Interpol Red Notice.
In 2015, a limited liability company paid $67.5 million for a full floor apartment overlooking Manhattan’s Central Park in the Sherry-Netherland Hotel. The buyer of the high-price co-op, which had been listed for $95 million, was kept secret. His name, court records show, is Guo Wengui, who is also known as Miles Kwok.
A member of President Donald Trump’s Mar-A-Lago resort in Florida, Guo is a Chinese national and former billionaire who left China amid a corruption scandal that financially linked Guo to former China state security vice-minister Ma Jian, who is under investigation in China. On Wednesday, the Chinese government said that Interpol had issued a red notice for Guo at the request of China, asking countries to provisionally arrest Guo, who has denied any wrongdoing.
Guo Wengui, a Chinese real estate magnate who now lives abroad, including at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, in London, March 29, 2016. Guo says a ferocious struggle led to the collapse of a business deal pitting him against relatives of a retired top Communist Party official, He Guoqiang.
Guo Wengui, a Chinese real estate magnate who now lives abroad, including at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, in London, March 29, 2016. Guo says a ferocious struggle led to the collapse of a business deal pitting him against relatives of a retired top Communist Party official, He Guoqiang. (Andrew Testa/The New York Times)
At the same time, hedge fund Pacific Alliance Asia Opportunity Fund sued Guo in New York state court in Manhattan, claiming Guo owed the hedge fund $88 million. The hedge fund that sued Guo is run by Chris Gradel and is the flagship of Pacific Alliance Investment Management, a $16 billion firm that manages hedge funds and real estate.
According to the nine-page complaint, one of Guo’s business entities started borrowing money from the Pacific Alliance hedge fund in 2008 and a debt of $45 million was transferred to another Guo entity, Shiny Times Holdings, in 2009. Guo personally guaranteed the debt and by 2011 agreed to pay interest of 15% interest on the outstanding balance, the complaint says.
Last year the Pacific Alliance hedge fund demanded payment of the outstanding balance, which had reached $82 million, and moved to liquidate Shiny Times in a British Virgin Islands court. But Pacific Alliance claims it was unable to get any money out of the insolvent Shiny Times and the hedge fund is now turning to Guo and his personal guarantee to make good on the $88 million in principal and accrued unpaid interest.
Guo has long claimed that his assets are frozen in China as part of a corruption investigation, but the Pacific Alliance hedge fund seems to be eyeing Guo’s luxurious asset on Manhattan’s 5th Avenue to collect on the debt. The hedge fund claims the apartment is where Guo has been residing. Pacific Alliance and its New York lawyers declined to comment. A lawyer for Guo declined to comment on the lawsuit and Guo did not respond to a request for comment. In an interview with Voice of America that was abruptly cut off on Wednesday, Guo said the Chinese government was trying to stop him from bringing evidence of Chinese corruption by using terror tactics.
Guo recently posted on his twitter account a video and photos of himself working out, thanking his twitter friends for their concerns and assuring them he was fine. A lawyer for Guo said he did not know Guo’s location, but believed he was not currently in the U.