Bloomberg Magazine followed the money on the Chumph’s business deals… Lots of Money Laundering and connections to both the Russian Mob and the Russian Spy Agencies.
This article only cover a portion of that. There is evidence of Russian Mob/Government cash infusions into the Chumph’s businesses when he was close to bankruptcy totalling between $50 and $300 million.
They own his ass.
A bombshell Bloomberg View report dropped Wednesday morning detailing President Donald Trump’s shadowy business partnerships with Russian investors on New York City real estate deals.
Rachel Maddow teased the report, which links the president to possible money laundering operations through his business associate Felix Sater — a mob informant and felon who has boasted of his ties to the Kremlin and Russian intelligence.
While special counsel Robert Mueller is looking into whether Trump obstructed justice in firing former FBI Director James Comey, the investigation into possible collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia also continues. As The Washington Post reported last week, the investigation into Trump also involves tracking concerning financial activities. The New York Times went even further, saying that Mueller is looking into whether Trump associates laundered payoffs from Russians and funneled them through offshore accounts.
“It’s ridiculous that I wouldn’t be investing in Russia,” Trump said during a 2007 deposition. “Russia is one of the hottest places in the world for investment.”
“Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets,” Donald Trump Jr. said a year later.
A troubling history of possibly compromising business relationships has scored cash for Trump for years, according to Bloomberg. The Bayrock Group, a now-dormant development firm that operated in Trump Tower, partnered with Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump on a series of deals between 2002 and 2011. The largest of the deals was part of a project in Manhattan, the Trump Soho Hotel.
During the years that the two worked together, Bayrock was a link between several dark projects in the U.S. and Europe that once named after Trump. Bayrock used Icelandic banks to launder money from government investors, legislators and others, Bloomberg reported.
One principal was a career criminal, according to Bloomberg, named Felix Sater, who worked with organized crime in both the U.S. and Russia. Before he brought the company to Trump he worked as a mob informant for the FBI and ran to Moscow to avoid any criminal charges.
A former Bayrock insider, Jody Kriss, admitted that he left the firm out of fear the company was a front for a money laundering scheme, and filed a lawsuit claiming he’d been swindled out of millions by cash skimming and tax dodging.
A federal judge agreed in December that Kriss’ suit could move forward as a racketeering case.
Trump claims he barely knows Sater, but the two met frequently at Trump Tower and Sater showed Trump’s children around Moscow on a visit, and he also carried Trump Organization business cards.
Sater was also involved with Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen and former national security adviser Michael Flynn on a Ukrainian peace proposal.
He went to prison for 15 months in 1993 for slashing the man’s face open with a margarita glass during a bar fight, and Sater later fled to Moscow after federal prosecutors charged him and his associates with laundering about $40 million from elderly Holocaust survivors for the mob.
Sater “was always hustling and scheming, and his contacts in Russia were the same kind of contacts he had in the United States,” Lauria wrote in his 2003 memoir, “The Scorpion and the Frog.” “The difference was that in Russia his crooked contacts were links between Russian organized crime, the Russian military, the KGB, and operatives who played both ways, or sometimes three ways.”
He eventually came back to the U.S. to face charges but traded on his knowledge of Stinger missiles for sale on the black market in Afghanistan to strike a plea deal in the money laundering case, which was then sealed.
Sater and Kriss joined Bayrock, headquartered at Trump Tower, in 2002 with a $10 million investment from former Soviet official Tevfik Arif, who reportedly made his fortune running upscale hotels in Turkey that catered to wealthy Russians.
Marketing documents for Bayrock pitched prospective investors claiming a former Soviet oligarch, Alexander Mashkevich, was one of Bayrock’s primary sources of capital.
According to Bloomberg, Bayrock was never out of money, despite running a small development firm. Kriss’ lawsuit alleges they could operate “month after month, for two years, in fact more frequently, whenever Bayrock ran out of cash.” If times got tight, Bayrock’s owners would “magically show up with a wire from ‘somewhere’ just large enough to keep the company going.”
Both Sater and Arif wooed Kriss to Bayrock by promising him 10 percent of the firm’s profits, according to the lawsuit. Being located in Trump Tower gave “an air of success” to the company, according to Kriss — as well as an opportunity to work with Trump.
Sater was the one who built the relationship with the future president, according to court records. He used three Trump Organization executives to eventually lead him to Trump in 2002, when the celebrity real estate developer wasn’t in a good place financially and had barely escaped personal bankruptcy in the 1990s. His reputation was sunk and no bank wanted anything to do with him, so Trump turned to developing golf courses. Arif and Sater pitched him the idea of doing international hotel chains with Trump’s name, according to Kriss — which they claimed would help pump up his “brand.”
The relationship proved mutually beneficial, and both Bayrock and Trump saw their fortunes rise after the debut of his reality show, “The Apprentice,” in 2004.
“That put Bayrock in a great position once the show debuted,” Kriss said. “The show did it for Trump, man. Nobody was interested in licensing his name before that.”
Bayrock promised Trump an 18 percent equity stake in the Trump Soho hotel, which would provide a steady stream of cash from fees and his name on a Manhattan building. No one knows whether Trump did any research into the Bayrock partners backgrounds, but Bloomberg alleges that Trump was known for lacking concern for such matters.
Sater claims he revealed his convictions to Trump Organization members and assumed they relayed it to Trump, but he can’t say for sure.
“It’s not very hard to get connected to Donald if you make it known that you have a lot of money and you want to do deals and you want to put his name on it,” said Abe Wallach, who served as Trump’s right-hand man from 1990 to 2002. “Donald doesn’t do due diligence. He relies on his gut and whether he thinks you have good genes.”
Due to a language barrier, Arif had little to do with Trump, so it was left to Sater and Kriss — who had most of their interactions with Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump, but the future president always had final say.
According to a deposition, Sater met with Trump multiple times a week to talk about business, including a plan to use Sater’s Russian connections to build a “high-rise” in Moscow.
Sater claimed he wouldn’t call Trump “my friend” in a 2008 deposition, but the two traveled together to look at deals. “Anybody can come in and build a tower,” he said. “I can build a Trump Tower because of my relationship with Trump.”
They began the international hotel-condo projects by exploring deals in Turkey, Poland and Ukraine. Sater took Ivanka and Don Jr. to Moscow looking for land for a Trump-branded hotel, but none got past the planning stages. In the U.S., however, Bayrock and Trump projects moved forward….More…