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Donald Trump, Wilbur Ross, a Russian Oligarch and a Leonardo da Vinci Painting
Will the spotlight now on the $450,000,000 purchase of Salvator Mundi by Abu Dhabi impact Robert Mueller's investigation of Russian influence on the 2016 elections?
In 1990 Wilbur Ross embarked on a strategy that helped Trump avoid a personal bankruptcy that could have derailed his unlikely trajectory from real-estate mogul to reality television star to president-elect. Trump was heavily in debt, and he started missing bond payments on his — and Atlantic City's — largest casino, the Taj Mahal. Ross, then an investment banker working for Rothschild Inc., helped bondholders negotiate with Trump, whose finances were unraveling.
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 settlement agreement (see 2015, below.)
On July 15, 2008 Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev, a multibillionaire, bought a Palm Beach property from Trump for $95 million. Trump had purchased it for $41 million in 2004.
In 2013 that same Russian oligarch, Dmitry Rybolovlev, had been the largest shareholder in the Bank of Cyprus, with a 9.9% stake in the company.
In 2014 Wilbur Ross poured hundreds of millions of dollars into the Bank of Cyprus, became a vice chair of the bank, along with a reported former KGB officer. Former Deutsche Bank executive Josef Ackermann was installed as chairman. Deutsche Bank—one of Trump's biggest creditors—subsequently paid hundreds of millions to settle disputes that it shipped $10 billion or more to Russia in suspect loans (see January 2017 and February 2017, below.)
In 2015 The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) imposed a $10 million civil money penalty against Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort (Trump Taj Mahal), for willful and repeated violations of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA).
Two Russian state institutions with close ties to Vladimir Putin funded substantial stakes in Twitter and Facebook through an investor who later acquired an interest in a Jared Kushner venture, leaked documents reveal. Under the leadership of US attorney Preet Bharara, who was subsequently fired by Trump in March 2017, prosecutors pursued Prevezon, a Cyprus company, for allegedly attempting to use Manhattan real estate deals involving Kushner to launder money stolen from the Russian treasury.
The U S Attorney's Office reported that: " Members of the criminal organization, and associates of those members, have also engaged in a broad pattern of money laundering in order to conceal the proceeds of the fraud scheme. In a complex series of transfers through shell corporations, the $230 million from the Russian treasury was laundered into numerous accounts in Russia and other countries.
In January of 2017 Deutsche Bank was fined $630,005,000 ($630,000,000 by the U S and $5.000 by the Russian Government) for $10 billion Russian money-laundering scheme. The latest fines penalize Deutsche Bank (DB)'s failure to deal with a stock-trading scheme that enabled some of its clients in Russia to improperly move huge sums of money out of the country and into offshore accounts.
February 27, 2017
Wilbur Ross was confirmed as Treasury Secretary on February 27. That evening Rachael Maddow reviewed the Trump/Rybolovlev Palm Beach real estate transaction. She revealed that the $50+ million note that this transaction settled had been due to Deutsche Bank. She reconfirmed that Rybolovev had at that time been a majority owner of the Bank of Cyprus and that the Former Chairman of Deutsche Bank had become the Chairman of The Bank of Cyprus while Ross served as vice-chair.
February 28, 2017
After being confirmed as Commerce Secretary, Wilbur L. Ross Jr. retained investments in Navigator, a shipping firm he once controlled that has significant business ties to Navigator's biggest client is the Russian petrochemicals giant Sibur, a company part-owned by Kirill Shamanov (see November 28, below.)
November 6, 2017
Democratic National Committee Chair Howard Dean predicted. "I expect there's a good likelihood Jared Kushner will be indicted for money laundering, and then we're going to see how far this Russian involvement goes," Dean said on MSNBC.
November 7, 2017
Several Senate Democrats are calling for new hearings and an inspector general investigation into Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross - "Sec. Ross's stake in a company so closely tied to Putin inner circle raises the profound question: Can he put America's interests before his own?" Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.)
November 15, 2017 - am
Raising questions regarding ethics, three longtime colleagues of Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross filed a lawsuit against him for pocketing $48,000,000 in management fees.
November 15, 2017 - pm
Leonardo da Vinci's Salvator Mundi, owned by Dmitry Rybolovlev, was sold at Christie's in New York for $450 million."Christie's says most scholars agree that the painting is by Leonardo, though some critics have questioned the attribution and some say the extensive restoration muddies the work's authorship."
November 28, 2017
By retaining his ownership of Navigator, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross reportedly continues to share business interests with oligarch Kirill Shamanov, part owner of petrochemical giant Sylbur. Katerina Tikhonova— the wealthy dancer who is married to Shamanov—has finally been confirmed to be the daughter of Vladimir Putin, Reuters reported.
December 5, 2017
Mueller subpoenas Trump Deutsche Bank records, sources say. Deutsche Bank for months has rebuffed calls by Democratic lawmakers to provide more transparency over the roughly $300 million Trump owed to the bank for his real estate dealings prior to becoming president. (see 2014, above)
December 8, 2007,
Democratic lawmakers are asking the Treasury Department to turn over any intelligence data it has about President Donald Trump and his associates, citing two recent reports of financial dealings with Russians.
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