A new story from The Athletic exposes how GOP gubernatorial candidate Richard Irvin’s megadonor Ken Griffin not only has deep financial ties to the Chinese Communist Party, but also profited off the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and a global pandemic.
China Security and Surveillance Technology received $110 million in convertible loans from Griffin’s Citadel, an investment that was used to acquire surveillance companies in China that have been accused of providing surveillance infrastructure for the ruling Chinese Communist Party. This Griffin-funded technology has been “used to alert police of possible unsanctioned protests and monitoring of internet cafes to track down democracy advocates and dissidents.”
Griffin’s heavy pockets are plagued with scandal, and Illinois voters deserve better than a gubernatorial candidate who is beholden to Griffin and his questionable intentions.
Here’s one of many questions that must be answered: Is Richard Irvin comfortable accepting the same money that funds the CCP’s anti-Democratic crackdowns?
See highlights from the story below:
• “Underpinning the rise of Citadel has been Griffin’s burning desire to win, his intolerance of failure and, above all, his ruthless pursuit of profit that has taken the company down some unsavoury paths.”
• “Citadel provided $110 million (£84 million) in convertible loans to China Security and Surveillance Technology. The company, which used the money to acquire 10 of the 50 biggest surveillance companies in China, has been accused of providing much of the surveillance infrastructure for the ruling Chinese Communist Party, including technology used to alert police of possible unsanctioned protests and monitoring of internet cafes to track down democracy advocates and dissidents.“
• “In February 2020, Citadel agreed to pay $97 million (£74 million) to resolve ‘alleged trading rule violations’ in the Chinese stock market that had resulted in a company trading account being suspended for five years. A spokesperson for Citadel Securities said it had ‘worked closely with the CSRC (China Security Regulatory Commission) through the reconciliation process’, adding that resolving the matter was important to the company ‘as China continues to expand opportunities for foreign participation in its financial markets.‘”
• “The global pandemic shutdown was a lucrative period for Citadel and Griffin’s net worth grew by $5 billion (£3.8 billion).”
• “Citadel also significantly increased its investment in pharmaceutical companies Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca and NovaVax in the weeks before then-president Donald Trump announced Operation Warp Speed.”
• “Early last year, Griffin was summoned before Congress, where he denied accusations of a conflict of interest between Citadel’s hedge fund and securities trading operation in the GameStop trading scandal. Shares in GameStop plunged by as much as 55 per cent in January 2021 after trading platforms curbed the purchase of them and major hedge funds had bet billions of dollars the shares would fall.”
• “Griffin’s public criticism of the wave of gun crime in Chicago in recent years jars with the fact that Citadel has invested millions in Storm Ruger & Co and Smith & Wesson Brands Inc, two of the leading manufacturers of guns seized by Chicago Police, as well as every major manufacturer of ammunition in the US. Citadel also invests in GEO Group and CoreCivic, private prison operators that run immigration detention centres, despite other US financial institutions cutting ties with both.”
• “In 2005, as the south-east United States reeled from the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina, Citadel saw an opportunity for returns in the realm of catastrophe reinsurance — the business of insuring insurers hit hard by the disaster — and founded a Bermuda-based reinsurer called New Castle Re to tap into expected price rises. This move, part of a broader shift from hedge funds and private equity firms, paid dividends as insurance premiums increased by 100 to 200 per cent for the Gulf Coast.”
• “‘Business is business,’ Griffin told The Wall Street Journal in 2015. ‘I don’t manufacture cars, but we do manufacture money.’”
Read the full article HERE.