Casino Abtoad Linked To Trump Laundering Money

It is understandable why Trump is clinging to the power so desperately: come Jan. 20, his legal risks increase immeasurably both on the civil and the criminal side. He can and will probably face; however, the most serious cases are exactly linked to his Russian financial affairs, as in fact, he was colluding with Russians big-time, regardless of his refutations. Kremlin’s 'black cash,' essentially formerly Soviet KGB and then Russian Government’s, or simplify it siloviki’s dirty slush funds. KGB and then siloviki and eventually Putin and the siloviki and others who came to form his inner circle learned their job in KGB’s clandestine operations in the final years of the cold war. They learned sophisticated techniques for washing money through fake companies abroad to finance Kremlin-friendly political and other movements. They developed illicit networks for smuggling sanctioned western technology back into the Soviet Union. They sowed disinformation to discredit western leaders, perfected the use of kompromat to blackmail business people and officials, and forged alliances with terrorist groups and organized crime. After taking power, Putin and his group have expanded these dirty slush funds and amassed a vast wealth of dirty money that serves both personal avarice and geopolitical strategy and tactical and other operations. The soaring fortunes of Putin’s inner circle, glimpsed in the revelations of the Panama Papers, are indistinguishable from the vast off-the-books war chest that the Kremlin draws on to finance its subterfuge and interventions abroad. Now on to Trump. Trump’s problem is that a major case could be made, among others, on the laundering of at least $1 billion of those Russian slush funds or “black cash” through various Russian banks, Russia-related companies, legal and illegal organizations, and structures via the Trump Organization. Laundering vast sums of Russian money is something that, if known at the time, should have resulted in Donald Trump failing to vet as a candidate. But this is easy to say now with the benefit of insight. It could, however, still be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Arkady Rotenberg, Viktor Vekselberg, Mikhail Fridman, Sergei Pugachev and others, including even Mikhail Khodorkovsky, helped launder the Russian Government’s dirty funds, accumulated before and after the fall of the Soviet Union from smuggling operations organized in cooperation with, among other, the Solntsevskaya organized crime group and, among others, Russia's top mobster, Semion Mogilevich. The dirty funds were placed with 'friendly' companies in Austria and other European countries. The connection with Trump starts in November 1990 when a former KGB officer with links to organized crime, Shalva Tchigirinsky, turned up at the Trump Organization Taj Mahal casino and met with Donald Trump. Eventually, a group composed of Felix Sater, Sam Kislin, Tamis Sapir, Aras, and Emin Agalarov, Tefvik Arif, Alexander Maskhevich (you can check them out on the internet) set up the laundering scheme of some of the Russian dirty slush funds in Trump's casinos and condos. Arif, Sater, etc., established the Bayrock real estate group in the Trump Tower with Donald Trump as an associate. Behind the scenes were, among other Russian organized crime groups, Solntsevskaya organized crime group and, among other mobsters, Russia's top mobster, Semion Mogilevich. The latter had in the past been cooperating with the foreign service arm of the KGB (SVR) while being at the same time hounded by another branch of that agency; he now lives in Russia. Donald Trump seems to have known of the role of Semion Mogilevich, but most probably never met with him. Felix Sater, Sam Kislin, Tamis Sapir, Aras, Tefvik Arif, Alexander Maskhevich, also former Kazakh minister Viktor Khrapunov, who is now based in Geneva, were part of what is known as the “Kazakh mafia.” However, they would be arrested in Kazakhstan if they turned up there. To make a long story short, they are accused of having looted the country's natural resources. Tevfik Arif, now also a Turkish citizen, was a Kazakh functionary and a KGB then Syrbar (the Kazakh successor to the Soviet KGB) senior officer. (Mike Flynn Jr could have been co-opted as an associate by Tevfik Arif in the Rixos hotel chain in Turkey) Recall also that in 2003, Deutsche Bank helped Donald Trump’s Casino company sell hundreds of millions of dollars in bonds. That company defaulted in 2004, leaving Deutsche Bank’s clients with deep losses. The bank’s investment division that sold the bonds vowed to not do business again with Trump. A year later, though, Trump approached another part of the investment division for a $640 million loan to build a skyscraper in Chicago. It made the loan — and in 2008, the Trump Organization defaulted and sued Deutsche Bank. That prompted the whole investment division to sever ties with Trump; however, guess what, Russian oligarch Mikhail Fridman came to the rescue. In 2011 Deutsche Bank started lending again to Trump, this time through the private-banking division that catered to the superrich. It did lend Trump money that he used to repay what he still owed Deutsche Bank’s investment division for the Chicago loan. In late 2011, as the bank debated whether to resume lending to Trump after his 2008 defaults, a senior executive asked Josef Ackermann, who was in his last months as chief executive, about the potential loans. Ackermann is said to have given a thumbs up, according to people familiar with the process. Ackermann's successor, Anshu Jain, was briefed on the Trump relationship early in his tenure. In February 2013, Jain accompanied Rosemary T. Vrablic — Trump’s personal banker at Deutsche Bank — to Trump Tower in Manhattan, according to two former executives. Over lunch, Jain remarked to Trump that he was surprised by his relatively low levels of debt. Ms. Vrablic told her colleagues that Jain had sounded upbeat about Trump’s finances. What had changed was the largely off-the-books Michael Fridman-arranged to the Trump Organization. In other words, the money laundered in the Trump Organization casinos and condos did not exactly belong to Trump. At any given time, Russian actors could have brought the whole house of cards down. This gave Putin and Russia powerful leverage on Trump, even if contrary to reports he has never been a Russian agent; well, formally, at least he was not. Note that Deutsche Bank, whose CEO was Josef Ackermann, had declined taking part in the 2009 bailout of the then cash-strapped Trump Organization, leaving it to a consortium of Russian-owned Icelandic banks coordinated by then Alfa-Bank chair Mikhail Fridman to do the job. Deutsche Bank was also fined for the US laundering of Russian money, notably that of infamous Denis Katsyv, who controlled Prevezon, then headquartered in Cyprus (it moved later to the UK). Katsyv, a Russian businessman and son of a former Soviet transport minister, was accused of laundering a portion of the proceeds from a $230m tax fraud uncovered by the lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who was tortured, denied medical treatment, and killed after 11 months in a Russian jail. Katsyv had created in February 2016 a nonprofit in Delaware called the Human Rights Accountability Global Initiative to lobby for the repeal of the Magnitsky Act and the end of a Russian adoption ban. He had sent, with the assent of Russian prosecutor-general Yuri Chaika, his lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, for a meeting at the Trump Tower with Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, and others who had been told to expect 'dirt on Hillary Clinton.' In contrast, the lawyer had come only to discuss whether a Trump administration would be open to discussing the Magnitsky Act's repeal against rescinding the ban of US adoptions of Russian orphans. According to the whistleblower, Deutsche Bank’s loans to Donald Trump were underwritten by Russian state-owned VTB Bank, whose collection of thousands of bank documents and internal communications have probably captured the attention of federal investigators. Val Broeksmit acquired his late father's emails and files, Deutsche Bank executive William S. Broeksmit after Broeksmit tragically took his own life in 2014. Val apparently informed the FBI in late 2019 about his knowledge of VTB’s underwriting of Trump’s loans, the information he attributed to a network of sources connected to the bank he cultivated over the past five-plus years. At least some of Trump’s loans were issued by a bank subsidiary with business ties to VTB. That subsidiary owed more than $48 million to VTB in 2013, and documents suggest the subsidiary continued doing business with VTB even after the United States sanctioned the bank in 2014. One whistleblower working on the Deutsche Bank indicated that VTB should be under scrutiny in the FBI criminal probe. That person did not comment directly on the Trump loans. In 2016 Trump found himself short of cash and could not fundraise sufficient funds to finance his presidential campaign. The $10 million transited in 2016 through Egyptian state Misr Bank investigated by Mueller was underwritten by Russia's VTB. This wasn't the only time VTB underwrote loans by Deutsche Bank to the Trump Organization; The CEO of Deutsche Bank at the time was Josef Ackermann, who has been working for the Russians a long time, and now is CEO of Viktor Vekselberg's Renova group. Most of the above should be in the hands of prosecutors. There is also a story of Russian banker Sergei Pugachev, once close to Putin, who eventually ran afoul of the Russian president and his siloviki friends, and was accused of banking fraud, fled to London where he was sued by Russia and was eventually the victim of an attempted car booby trap attempt. He was holed up in Chelsea when he received an MI6 officer's visit who was obviously a double agent since he threatened Pugachev. From the log of visitors, one can see that two officers could have threatened him, both having Christopher as a first name and both later associates in a private venture. It’s not clear which Christopher it was. Subsequently, Pugachev fled to France in violation of a British court order, where he lived in a fortress-like villa on the hills of the Riviera under French intelligence protection. He eventually fled to the US. Mikhail Fridman, the head of Alfa Bank and someone who assembled a consortium of Russian-owned Icelandic banks to bail out the Trump Organization in 2009, is also one of those who helped to launder the black slush funds and cash, and that had tried to help the Russia state recover Pugachev's assets.

The Trump Organization had become a substitute for the company set up by Mossack Fonseca in the British Virgin Islands. And just a month and a half ago, Germany issued international arrest warrants for the founders of Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca more than four years after the Panama Papers publication. Prosecutors in Cologne seek the arrest of Jürgen Mossack, 72, and Ramón Fonseca, 68, on charges of aiding tax evasion and forming a global criminal enterprise. Mossack and Fonseca, a former presidential advisor, founded their eponymous law firm in 1986. It expanded operations to 40 countries and territories, from China to Uruguay, before closing down in 2018 due to the Panama Papers investigation. In 2018, U.S. prosecutors charged four men, including two former Mossack Fonseca employees, with “wire fraud, tax fraud, money laundering, and other offenses connected with their roles in a decades-long criminal scheme.

Two months ago, a former U.S. taxpayer and his accountant pleaded guilty to tax crimes and were sentenced to prison. The former Mossack Fonseca employees, Ramses Owens and Dirk Brauer, remain “at large,” according to the US authorities.

Mossack and Fonseca still face a criminal probe in Panama. The men are also under an FBI investigation that could lead to a trial in the United States. Fonseca responded on Twitter to news about his arrest warrant by attacking “international leftists.

Story highlights Trump's Taj Mahal casino broke anti-money laundering rules in the 1990s It was the preferred spot for Russian mobsters to gamble Episodes like this in Trump's business past will get more scrutiny from Senate investigators CNN — The Trump Taj Mahal casino broke anti-money laundering rules 106 times in its first year and a half of operation in the early 1990s, according to the IRS in a 1998. The British government introduced unexplained wealth orders in 2018 to help authorities fight money laundering and target the illicit wealth of foreign officials. Donald Trump insists he did. A new trove of more than 13 million leaked documents implicates top officials and associates of President Donald Trump—as well as foreign politicians—in shady business relationships tied to.

Among the leaked documents, there was a huge amount of evidence of a billion-dollar operation run by Bank Rossiya. Established in 1990, the bank is headed by Putin's closest associate Yuri Kovalchuk, dubbed 'Putin's personal banker,' who owns the bank's largest share, which is subject to the US, U.K., and EU sanctions following Russia's annexation of Crimea. Kovalchuk is one of the most powerful people in Putin’s inner circle; he, with the help of Putin and siloviki, has acquired practically all Russian media and television and is financing large infrastructure projects, notably also various Putin’s and his family and daughters’ residences, as well as a variety of infrastructure projects in occupied Crimea.

Cellist Sergei Roldugin, a friend of Putin’s, has personally made hundreds of millions of dollars in profits from suspicious deals, which has seen him earn stakes in Kovalchuk’s Bank Rossiya other Russian companies. The papers proclaim that Bank Rossiya transferred at least $1bn to an offshore entity called Sandalwood Continental. The cash was in the form of unsecured loans from state-controlled Russian Commercial Bank (RCB) based in Cyprus. A portion of the money was then lent back onshore in Russia at extremely high-interest rates, with all the resulting profits going to secret Swiss accounts and then to Mossack Fonseca – the world's fourth-largest offshore fiduciary company. Mossack Fonseca then channeled the money to a company in the British Virgin Island that had on its board former senior Putin’s siloviki and Russian oligarchs and various Russian “businessmen.”

At the time of the Panama Papers, I believed, like most, that Rodulgin, who couldn't make much money with his concerts, was a straw man for Putin and his closest aides. However, it is now clear that the money was part of those vast slush funds described above. For instance, the Zurich-based firm, Dietrich, Baumgartner & Partners, played an integral role in transferring $2 billion from those slush funds from Putin and his closest associates.

To illustrate how the scheme worked on the example of Troika Dialogue and Rodulgin. I will simplify it and shorten it to make it easier to understand, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg,

Investment bank “Troika Dialogue” essentially handled a network of at least 75 offshore companies; Roldugin was receiving substantial funds from the scheme and oversaw directly at least 4 companies and operations from the scheme - for example, those of Sandalwood Continental Ltd. and Media Overseas SA (IMO). IMO can be traced directly to Roldugin, while, for example, Sandalwood was registered to a businessman from St Petersburg Oleg Gordin, who was Roldugin’s representative in other companies.

(Roldugin, for example, was tasked with at least four offshore companies created in 2006 as a part of the money-laundering scheme developed by “Troika Dialogue” that until approximately 2013 laundered more than 4.6 billion $; money was laundered not only from Bank Rossiya (Kovalchuk’s - Putin’ bank), they were also laundering money from other well-known companies such as Rosneft, Rostelekom, VTB, Kamaz, Avtovaz, etc. For example, only in 2010, Sandalwood and IMO signed additional 8 contracts (in addition to the existing 8 contracts) with Rosneft buying shares (Sandalwood’s counteragent was Starcourt Worldwide, IMO’s was Dino S.A.). Two months after the purchase, Starcourt and Dino canceled all 16 contracts they had with Sandalwood and IMO and had to pay penalties.)

During that time, the head of investment bank “Troika” was Ruben Vardanyan; he stated on multiple occasions that he knows of Roldugin only because of his fame in the world of classical music. Lithuanian Ukio Bankas was also involved; top shareholder of Ukio Bankas Vladimir Romanov escaped to Russia in 2014. For example, there were other companies: Batherm Ventures Ltd. Matias Co Ltd, owned by Russian billionaire Alexandre Abramov was also part of the scheme (he has dual Russian- Cyprus citizenship). A company from Cyprus Nicos Chr. Anastasiades and Partners LLC from Cyprus was also a conduit for huge financial transfers from Russia to offshore companies.

In 2007 and 2008, Batherm transferred almost 100 million dollars to another company in Delco Networks S.A. Delco was used for various transactions. Still, some are quite interesting- for example, the purchase of 70 thousand Rosneft shares from Roldugin’s. Delco laundered funds from the slush “black cash” funds and funds illegally drawn (e.g., stolen) from budgets of different government agencies in 2007; that piece of the puzzle led to Sergei's tragic affair with Magnitsky. Sergei Magnitsky discovered only a tiny fragment of the slush fund scheme - he in fact discovered a fragment of tax money laundering scheme that involved the collusion of Russian ministry of interior, ministry of justice, courts, tax inspection, different officials, bankers, and organized crime, that amounted to approximately 230 million dollars; he didn’t have time to dig further, as he was arrested, imprisoned, tortured and murdered seven days before the expiration of the one-year term during which he could be legally held without trial; he was only 37. Russian authorities and Putin personally accused investment company Hermitage Capital of the affair, one of the most egregious and cynical crimes of Putin’s regime. Biotherm Ventures Ltd. was funneling funds to Delco and had a lot of businesses and companies working under its “network” of sorts; one such company was Matias Co Ltd. that was related to Cyprus president Anastasiades. It is also worth mentioning Imperium Nominees Ltd. It is a company owned by Mr. Filipou, Mr. Lemis (who are well-known players in the Panama papers), and daughters of Anastasiades Elsa and Ino. In 2007 Biotherm и Matias acquired «Энергостройинвест Холдинг» — at that time the largest Russian player on the market of construction of transfer of electric energy and thermoelectric plants. Funds for this transaction, around 220 million dollars, were cleared through Gotland Industrial Inc's accounts — that was one of the three key foundations of “Troika.” At that time, the owner of «Энергостройинвест Холдинг» Andrei Rappaport named the buyer: he was the Russian oligarch Alexander Abramov (Александр Абрамов); it was Abramov who was behind both Batherm and Matias). Data from Ukio confirms the stakes of Abramov as well as intermediaries from Anastasiades’ law firm. Abramov made millions on exports of metals and coal during the 90s. Today Abramov is chairman of EVRAZ plc (Russian: ЭВРАЗ), a British multinational vertically integrated steel making and mining company with headquarters in London, United Kingdom. It has operations mainly in Russia and Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Italy, Czech Republic, the United States, Canada, and South Africa. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. As of 2015, the ultimate beneficial owners were Roman Abramovich (31.03%), chairman Alexander Abramov (21.59%), and CEO Aleksandr Frolov (10.78%).In contract to purchase «Энергостройинвест Холдинг,» the guarantor was Cyprus company Crosland Global Ltd. (also partially owned by Abramov), along with certain obligations and guarantees by Batherm и Matias. Few months after purchasing «Энергостройинвест Холдинга» Matias bought another huge Russian energy company «Союзэнергоинжиниринг.» The price of the deal is unknown. Abramov was a client of Anastasiades & Partners and eventually obtained Cyprus citizenship and then used that citizenship to legally obtain a British residence permit. Abramov was behind Batherm and Matias. Formally the director of Batherm was Statis Lemis, and he had a representative with a power of attorney Theofanis Filippou who runs other companies in the network. Matias was a part of a network under Batherm. Cyprus's role is quizzing- until approximately 2018, with Anastasiades closing a blind eye and supporting Russian affairs, Cyprus was one of the EU countries that initially opposed sanctions against Russia's annexation Crimea.

Cyprus was so co-opted and entangled in the Russian money laundering schemes that it was the only western country that initially agreed to cooperate with Russian authorities in investigating Hermitage Capital and Bill Browder, which is actually quite unbelievable.


An additional interesting detail, indicative of Trump’s continuous colluding with Putin’s enablers along the lines outlined above: in 2018, during the meeting between Trump and Putin in Helsinki, Putin offered his American counterpart: He would permit U.S. law enforcement officials to question or witness the Russian interrogation of 12 Russian military intelligence officers accused by the United States of interfering in the 2016 campaign, if his own agents could question or observe the interrogation of a similar number of American intelligence officers as well as several other US government officials and business people, who, Russia alleges, committed crimes on Russian soil. During the joint press conference, Putin made a crazy allegation that the U.S. intelligence officers, including Michael McFaul, had helped American-born, Stanford GSB graduate, British citizen Bill Browder launder money in Russia, which Browder then gave to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. It was a ludicrously false equivalency that linked Russian hackers' documented efforts to tilt the election to Trump with a host of completely imagined and false offenses by U.S. government officials and British business people. Amazingly, Trump called this “an incredible offer.” By considering the request, Trump assigned moral equivalence between a legitimate indictment of Russian intelligence officers to many constructed lies and absurd accusations from Moscow with no basis in reality. Furthermore, there is no moral equivalence between the United States and Russia, which remains hostile to most basic Western values and ideals. There would be no question if Moscow interfered in the 2016 election. Yet, this was Trump’s position and approach. The question remains why.

The Trump Organisation was especially useful for those transactions which could be done legally in the US because no one was checking where the money was coming from; on those transactions that Russian actors did in the US, Russians have done their paperwork well; the only problem, from the legal point of view, was the source of the money - the Russian dirty slush funds. In other words, the problem with the laundering of money through the Trump Organisation is that the ultimate source of the money was obscured, and it came to no one’s mind to look into that direction. Due diligence would have found that the source of financing was either linked to organized crime or the Russian sources or couldn't be traced. But there was no due diligence in that direction.

Trump and his allies already alleged that then-Vice President Biden had forced out a Ukrainian prosecutor to quash an investigation into Burisma that could implicate Hunter. These allegations were completely misconstructed, taken out of the context, and as such, widely discredited. The firing of prosecutors Viktor Shokin and Uri Lusenko had, in fact, been demanded by the IMF and the EU concerning their apparent corruption. Hunter Biden joined the Burisma board in 2014; while that might have been a poor judgment, he didn’t do anything wrong; he left the Burisma in 2019. However, Burisma was a part of a more sinister scheme that should interest Rudi Giuliani who tried to use Lutsenko and Shokin against the Bidens: Burisma was involved in dealings with a Kyrgyz state gas firm to replace some of its imports of Russian gas from Gazprom with Kyrgyz gas, but that was many years before Hunter Biden joined Burisma. He was certainly neither told nor aware of this. Behind the gas, the scheme was Russia's chief mobster, Semion Mogelevich. As a result, the FSB blackmailed both prosecutors into investigating Burisma, but again this happened way before Hunter was hired so that the deal did not occur. One person with whom Semion Mogelevich indirectly dealt with from November 1990 onwards, mainly through Shalva Tchigirinsky, who established the first contact with Trump at the Trump Organisation’s Taj Mahal casino. Soon thereafter, a group composed of Felix Sater, Sam Kislin, Tamis Sapir, Aras and Emin Agalarov, Tefvik Arif, Alexander Maskhevich, Alex Schnaider, Dmitry Rybolovlev, Michael Friedman, etc., as described in the messages above set up the laundering of some of the Russian dirty slush money in Trump's casinos, condos, villas, and properties. I wonder why Giuliani didn’t look into that?

What about the Delaware computer-shop origin story? The best thing you can say is that this account is not physically impossible, in that it does not violate any laws of nature; however, this is not at all a plausible account. If you were a computer-repair shop owner in Delaware and had a Biden-owned computer that you repaired but weren’t paid for, why would your first step be to reach out to Rudy Giuliani? Why wouldn’t you go to the Bidens — who are fairly well known and easy to find in Delaware to get paid? But no matter how the laptop and whatever was on the hard drive came to exist, the situation looks like a classic Russian disinformation operation: a couple of real documents are salted with forged or manipulated information and video materials and then presented in a way that news media and social media cannot resist. Take the complex but clumsy way the laptop came to the NY Post, via a partially-sighted computer repair shop owner. A laptop is dropped off to a blind computer repairman in the name of Hunter Biden in the middle of a presidential election that happens to be filled with extensive documents along with videos of sex and drug use. It ends up in the hands of the president's lawyer Giuliani, who publicly admits to working closely with a sanctioned Russian intelligence officer attempting to interfere in the presidential campaign. It is a known fact that Giuliani has repeatedly met with Ukrainian lawmaker Andriy Derkach looking for information about Hunter Biden's role on the board of Burisma, a natural gas firm, from 2014 to 2019. In September, the US government sanctioned Derkach after being accused of being a Russian intelligence operative intent on interfering in the November US elections. The New York Post said it was first told of the laptop's existence in September by former Trump advisor Steve Bannon. It later received the actual information from Giuliani. Bannon was arrested in August on unrelated fraud and money laundering charges. Giuliani has seen his two close Ukrainian associates Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman arrested on money laundering and fraud charges while planning to direct funds from a foreign government to U.S. politicians while trying to influence U.S.-Ukraine relations; the charges have also connected Parnas and Fruman to Giuliani’s efforts to oust US Ambassador Yovanovitch from her post in Kyiv and have her recalled. Last year, the GRU launched a phishing campaign targeting Burisma Holdings as early as November 2019. The Russians were trying to steal user names and emails, and from that perspective, they were successful. What they intended to do with stolen information from there onwards is unknown until today. We have known these emails could eventually show up — again, we don't know if the laptop started as real or not, so someone could have all the real emails they need to put on a laptop to make it look like Biden's. Now, if this is a Russian disinformation operation, they will seed fake emails and various videos that will be considered incriminating into a dump of what seems legitimate and might be verified. This is, by the way, what they tried to do to French President Macron in 2017. Of course, Russians would be sending that nonsense to Giuliani to see if it gets noticed. You don't need to convince the FBI or reporters at The New York Times. You have to convince Giuliani. And he very much wants to be convinced, or maybe he doesn't even need to believe the information is true. Russians will think it so perfect that they won't care if he believes the information or not because they know he will pass it along either way.

When Hunter Biden joined the Burisma board based on his name, the Kyrgyz gas business masterminded by Semion Mogulevich was long gone. The FSB had threatened prosecutors Lutsenko and Shokin with revelations about their corruption if they did not investigate Burisma, so they agreed. This has nothing to do with Trump and Giuliani asking for the same thing before Hunter joined the company. I don't think Hunter ever knew anything about it: why should he? As to the Chinese business, it is a mere case of small tax evasion. These things normally don't go to court but end up with paying back taxes and a penalty. As to Russia, whatever they are trying to do, I think Putin knows it’s over. However, he may want to create a bit more mayhem now - that’s what he is doing.

The man who had the most contacts with Russian intelligence was Paul Manafort, who has been a crook most of his life. One who knows a lot is Wilbur Ross, who has been chair of the Bank of Cyprus. Given all Mueller had against him, I surmise Ross cooperated with him. If Muller and the FBI did a good job, there should be much information on Trump and his people via Paradise Papers revelations with the FBI already.

Casino Abroad Linked To Trump Laundering Money For Russia

Wilbur Ross was heavily involved with Vekselberg, Yakunin (Yakunin is a man from the original Putin’s core group of “old guard”; the other members of the Putin’s “old guard” are: Yakunin, Kovalchuk, Nikolai Shamalov (father of the younger Shamalov who was married to Putin’s daughter Tikhonova), Sergei Fursenko, Andrei Fursenko, Vladimir Smirnov and Viktor Myachin - this is the core of the old Putin’s St Petersburg group. Ross was involved with Vekselberg, Yakunin and also with Prevezon, and Denis Katsyv and all the Russian outfits in Cyprus (Katsyv - from Magnitsky case; Katsyv was instrumental in targeting Bill Browder; Prevezon had received over $1.9 million after the Russian government stole and robbed Bill Browder’s Hermitage Capital Management companies to purchase New York properties; his lawyer was the infamous Natalia Veselnitskaya who was in January 2019 indicted in the United States with obstruction of justice charges for having attempted to thwart the Justice Department investigation into the money laundering charges against Katsyv.) Interestingly, the person who succeeded Wilbur Ross at the helm of Bank of Cyprus was Deutsche Bank's Josef Ackermann, who was CEO of Viktor Vekselberg's Renova group. Wilbur Ross’ co-chair in Cyprus and a close friend was Vladimir Strzhalkovsky Putin’s friend, formerly of the KGB who also served as the chief executive of Russian mining group Norilsk Nickel and received a $100m golden parachute pay-off, the largest in the country's corporate history. Yakunin was involved as the boss of Russian Railways. They had a company in Cyprus to which foreign companies had to go through to sell equipment, etc., to Russian Railways, and the latter took a commission.

The two Cypriot companies involved in the scheme were Apelsinos Holdings and Transyuzhstroi, controlled by companies in the British Virgin Islands. Transyuzhstroi later moved to London after the Cypriot banking crisis. When he took office in Trump’s administration, Ross had a stake in a shipping company, Navigator, through a chain of offshore investments. Navigator operated a partnership with Sibur, a Russian gas company that was part-owned by Kirill Shamalov, the then-husband of Putin’s daughter Katerina Tikhonova. In other words, Ross, a close friend of Trump, retained holdings in Navigator after taking office in 2017. The relationship means he was benefiting from the operations of a Russian company run by Putin’s family and close allies, some of whom were under US sanctions. Navigator ramped up its relationship with Sibur from 2014, as the US and EU imposed sanctions on Russia, following Putin’s aggression in eastern Ukraine and annexation of Crimea. Navigator has collected at least $68m in revenue from its Sibur partnership between 2014 and 2017. When Paradise Papers came out in 2018, he was still holding stakes in Navigator and divested only in October 2018. However, his family still appears to be interested in Navigator, along with the Bank of Cyprus, another Russia-tied company; Bank of Cyprus - its largest shareholder, is a company connected to Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg, whom Ross once hosted in his office around 2014. When Vekselberg came to New York in 2018, he was welcomed by the FBI: Agents working with Robert Mueller, who was investigating Russian attempts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, stopped him at the airport for questioning. It turns out, a company that once described itself as the U.S. affiliate of Vekselberg’s firm pumped more than half a million dollars into an entity controlled by Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen shortly after the president took office.

Below is a link to a self-explanatory interview in Financial Times by Kirill Dimitriev (of RDIF). In 2016 he praised Donald Trump, Michael Flynn, and Wilbur Ross and criticized Obama and his administration.

Regarding Wilbur Ross as the news of hacking in Commerce and Treasury by SVR/Cozy Bear breaks. These are consequences of having Russian connections deep at the top of the government. Because having at Commerce, a former head of a bank known for Russian money laundering in Cyprus and a Treasury head who approved lifting sanctions of Russian oligarchs has several connections to covert attacks on the US government.

As SCOTUS now puts an end to his baseless attempts to illegally overturn the outcome of the fair and legal elections. He claims that he won falsely, yet by doing so, he is only sowing dissension and discord in the society and turning people against each other, with his baseless allegations of widespread voter fraud and a system “rigged” against him. That is exactly what Putin would want him to do.

The Corporate Transparency Act is the real reason why Trump wants to veto the NDAA:

Democracy wins. Electoral College confirms Joe Biden. And AG Barr resigns.

Barr had no Russian connections, but his actions surely were useful to Russians. Barr has continuously disincentivized the entire FBI from probing any possible repeat of 2016 and, in fact, denounced the Russiagate scandal as “bogus.” Barr knew what he was doing: diminishing the Russian attacks designed to help Trump, impeding the FBI from investigating Russian interference, and reinforcing Trump’s phony “Spygate” narrative. He went about all of this in a calculating and clever manner. This surely was very useful for Putin and his group and their services and operatives.

Casino Abroad Linked To Trump Laundering Money

It is hard to come to terms with what is happening in the US, but unfortunately, given the whole history (and pre-history) of Trump’s reign, that is not unexpected. Luckily the way Putin’s state operates, especially since 2014, is often way more clumsy than it used to be during the Soviet times. But it is not less evil and not less complex; in fact, it is criminal, and it resembles a system of organized crime groups more than an ideology-driven state; in many ways, that is how it functions, in combination with its thinly spread military (that more and more relies on hybrid warfare, diversion, surprise, and improvisation). Putin's inner core's fine balancing act between different groups on the top that are held together by a ruthless combination of corruption and repression. And yet Putin’s state chooses no means to achieve its wicked goals; it is very aggressive. It is deceitful, and it mobilizes many people, including those on the pinnacles of power and those on the margins, as the US's resulting situation only underlines. But they have no ideology; the system is overwhelmingly bureaucratic, inefficient, highly corrupted, treacherous, and, at the same time, brutal, tyrannical and racist and yet demographically weak and in many ways paradoxical and therefore not sustainable in the long run. I think that to remove those in Russia who are responsible for the mayhem and chaos in the democracies around the world, it would be necessary to, as a first step, introduce more complex sanctions, those that would help prop up responses from the general population in Russia. One should aim at systematic weaknesses and contradictions of Putin’s system that, if appropriately targeted, would lead to a collapse of the system from within.