Wednesday, March 29, 2017

No Puppet! No Puppet!

Owen Dorell at USA Today has pulled together facts about the many and long- term business relationships between neo- fascist Putin pocket pal Donald "Rump" Trump and very shady Russian and former Soviet republic oligarchs in a must- read article (our emphasis throughout).
The president and his companies have been linked to at least 10 wealthy former Soviet businessmen with alleged ties to criminal organizations or money laundering. 
Among them: 
• A member of the firm that developed the Trump SoHo Hotel in New York is a twice-convicted felon who spent a year in prison for stabbing a man and later scouted for Trump investments in Russia. 
•  An investor in the SoHo project was accused by Belgian authorities in 2011 in a $55 million money-laundering scheme. 
• Three owners of Trump condos in Florida and Manhattan were accused in federal indictments of belonging to a Russian-American organized crime group and working for a major international crime boss based in Russia. 
•  A former mayor from Kazakhstan was accused in a federal lawsuit filed in Los Angeles in 2014 of hiding millions of dollars looted from his city, some of which was spent on three Trump SoHo units. 
•  A Ukrainian owner of two Trump condos in Florida was indicted in a money-laundering scheme involving a former prime minister of Ukraine.
The Trump Organization, through a spokesperson, has said, "The Trump Organization never entered into a single transaction with any of these individuals and the condominium units were all owned and sold by third parties — not Trump.”  Well, that should settle it-- wait what:
Trump's privately held company works through a network of subsidiaries and partnerships that make direct connections hard to trace, particularly since he has refused to release his tax filings. In addition, some of the Trump Organization's investors and buyers operate through shell companies and limited liability corporations that hide the identities of individual owners.
The article points out that Rump has a background in money laundering going waaay back to 2015 and his Taj Mahal Casino, which was fined $10 million for failing to report suspicious transactions =cough= money laundering =cough=.  What's more,
The Trump SoHo project "was largely financed by illegally obtained cash from Russia and Eastern European sources, including money provided by known international financial criminals and organized crime racketeers," former prosecutor [Joe] McCallion wrote on his blog in October. McCallion was an assistant U.S. attorney in New York from the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s under presidents Carter and Reagan.
McCallion, who has spent years in the seamy world of Rump business dealings gets to the point that investigators will hopefully someday reach, "What do the Russians have on Trump?":
“The FBI is always concerned if public officials can be blackmailed,” McCallion said. “It’s Russian-laundered money from people who operate under the good graces of President Putin. If these people pull the plug on the Trump Organization, it would go down pretty quickly.”
For a skunk like Rump whose whole image is tied up in his business "success" and wealth, that's the strongest leverage you can have.

(photo: Washed his hair and can't do a thing with it.)

No comments: