This Is the Very Expensive Yacht Steve Bannon Got Arrested On

It reportedly belongs to a Chinese fugitive.

Former Donald Trump campaign chairman Steve Bannon in Paris, France, last year.Eliot Blondet/AP

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

On Thursday morning, federal agents arrested Steve Bannon off the coast of Connecticut on a 150-foot yacht named “Lady May,” charging him with defrauding hundreds of thousands of people who donated more than $25 million to fund a private wall along the US-Mexico border. 

Lady May has been touted has one of the world’s most sophisticated superyachts and is currently on sale for $27.9 million. The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that it belongs to Guo Wengui, an exiled Chinese businessman.

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Boat International (@boatinternational) on

A listing from Moran Yacht & Ship calls Lady May “innovative in every sense of the word” and boasts that it won “a succession of Superyacht awards in 2015.” Boat International reported in 2015 that Neville Crichton, a businessman and yacht racer originally from New Zealand, conceived of Lady May as a slightly bigger version of another yacht named Como. But, Crichton said, “it was the height of the global financial crisis and even though Australia came through that pretty well, I just wasn’t excited.” A year later, Dubois Naval Architects came up with a new design that was more than just a stretched-out ComoThat yacht, Lady May, now belongs to Guo.

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Moran Yacht & Ship (@moranyachts) on

 

Bannon has worked for Guo, who sometimes goes by the name Miles Kwok, since shortly after his ouster from the White House three years ago. Guo, a reported billionaire, is one of China’s most-wanted fugitives. Chinese authorities have charged him with bribery, fraud, and money laundering—similar to the fraud and money laundering charges Bannon now faces. He denies the allegations, saying they result from his criticism of the Chinese government.

Guo has helped bankrolled Bannon’s efforts to attack China and paid Bannon $1 million for work between 2018 and 2019, Axios reported last year. But those efforts are reportedly the subject of an investigation, separate from probe that resulted in Bannon’s indictment. The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that the FBI, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the New York state attorney general’s office are investigating whether a media company formed by Bannon and Guo, GTV Media, violated securities laws and bilked investors.

Here’s Lady May sailing down the Hudson River toward where Bannon is expected to be arraigned in a Manhattan federal courthouse on Thursday:

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate