Shot across the bow: NY District gets its Russian ruling

    Amidst all the speculation and soft (fake?) news blowing about this week, 1 piece popped out on Friday that you can put a stick in - the Acting US Attorney for Manhattan (Joon Kim) announced a plea bargain for Prevezon and other Russian fronts - especially focused on real estate companies - for laundering money through New York.

    The amount of money in the settlement was trivial - only $5 million, based on New York's part in the $230 million laundering scheme. But it signifies the Attorney's Office's willingness to go after bigger fish even if the Manhattan take was relatively small.

    If you've heard of Prevezon, it's likely due to the stir over the Steele Dossier and involvement of Fusion GPS in both digging out info on the holding company and the involvement of Denis Katsyv, son of the Russian Transport Minister and lobbyist against the Global Magnitsky Act, designed for international ethics enforcement [note - that unregistered lobbying is just one area where US laws may have been broken].

    Magnitsky was largely a whistle blower on Russian fraud who was conveniently kept locked up in Russian jail and left to die through neglect - a basically undeniable fact that prompted a propaganda film to defile Magnitsky's remaining memory for the west - i.e. whether you believe Magnitsky's claims, you can't doubt he suffered horrible ignomious death in one of Russia's renowned prisons.

    Where you also might have heard of these names has to do with the convenient falling-out-of-a-4th-floor-Moscow-window-while-moving-a-jacuzzi story involving Nikolai Gorokhov, Magnitsky's lawyer, the day before he was to testify in.... (drum roll) the Southern District's Prevezon case. Fortunately, Gorokhov survived and is recovering (unlike a dozen or more prominent Russians who've fallen - pardon the pun - out of favor with the Putin regime).

    Originally this case was led by Preet Bharara, who was suddenly forced to resign (among others) 2 months ago despite earlier assurances. Kim's announcement hopefully signals that the Manhattan office is still in business, rather than a retrenchment from aggressively pursuing this type of crime, while Preet has joined Schneiderman's NY Attorney General's office.

    In another interesting aspect, Prevezon is Cyprus-based, and undoubtedly the money trail Kim & co were investigating involving Deutsche Bank's $800million fine re: money laundering through Cyprus [easily the most corrupt], Latvia and Moldova involved the Bank of Cyprus. Cue up Trump's $300 million credit from Deutsche Bank and Trump's choice of Wilbur Ross - Vice Chair of Bank of Cyprus and largest investor. (Russia accounts for 1/3 of all bank deposts in Cyprus, with Bank of Cyprus controlling 30% of the local market)

    Who else is involved with Bank of Cyprus? "Dmitry Rybolovlev: Reportedly owned the largest stake in the Bank of Cyprus as of 2010 (9.7 percent); bought Donald Trump’s Palm Beach house in 2008 for $95 million, at the time the most expensive property in the U.S., more than doubling what Trump paid four years earlier [The mansion had sat on the market, unsold, for two years.- the Atlantic]; his personal jet’s flight pattern shows an odd coincidence of airports with Trump’s appearances on the fall campaign trail."

    All this might be a muddle of poorly connected dots on the map, except for another event Friday, the confirmation that Treasury's FinCEN arm will share money laundering data with the Senate Intel committee, specifically related to ties between Trump and Russia, sends these connections into overdrive. It should be noted that FinCEN already convicted Trump's Taj Mahal of money laundering 2 years ago, with a $10 million fine, so not only is there assuredly fire and not just smoke, it means guys well-experienced with parts of his business will be filling in the gap, as well as giving the Intel Committee grounds to ask for Trump's still largely undisclosed tax records.

    Given this week's firing of the FBI's head and revelation of Trump's pre-firing attempts to sway Comey & manipulate his investigation, and post-firing threats and suggestion of illicit recordings for blackmail of their conversations, there's even more room for official discovery warrants and less room for privileged denial.

    Nevertheless, Trump's been in trouble a number of times and never got arrested - more lives than a cat, it seems. Perhaps it's just luck, perhaps something more sinister like Frank Costello in The Departed. But even cats find themselves as roadkill now and then. It took quite a while for Ahab to track and harpoon the Great Whale, and even then it took down the whole ship with him. Be prepared for the worst - it's going to get ugly.

    PS - I didn't mention Manafort et al - so little time, so many actors... All their names will reappear in the credits.

    PPS - okay, they already asked for Manafort's bank records, including his dealings with Bank of Cyprus, plus Schneiderman looking into his real estate transactions, plus when Manafort quit as chairman he took out $13 million in loans from Trump businesses. Meanwhile, Trump's law firm confirming he has nothing to hide won "Russian Law Firm of the Year" in 2016.

    Russians, if you're listening - maybe you can find 30,000 pages of Donald's past tax returns? Oh, you already have them?



    The Bank of Cyprus guys give Trump "Deal (Dick) Envy"  Even he never thought of a depositer bail-in as an exit strategy  out of chapter 11 re-organization for a bankrupt entity.

    Peracles... Uh . . .

    Trump's been in trouble a number of times and never got arrested - more lives than a cat, it seems. Perhaps it's just luck, perhaps something more sinister like Frank Costello in The Departed.

    Why FBI Can’t Tell All on Trump, Russia - March 27, 2017 | Who.What.Why

    See if you can find anything in the above 13,000 word expose that dovetails... wink


    re: WhoWhatWhy, Weiner Roast?

    Settlement looks worse in light of day - no admittance of guilt, basically a 10 year chase and the bastards get off with a slap. Shut down by Trump or just flubbed by the Attorneys?

    Federal subpoena regarding Manafort's money laundering the day he left the campaign (paid cash for Hamptons house, formed LLC on day of departure, several weeks later evidence that the LLC takes out mortgage on the house):

    Article also notes that Schneiderman is interested, too.

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