Throughout his business career, DonaldTrump has had various partners and associates who have been accused of money laundering or engaging in financial crimes. Some instances include:
Bayrock Group: A real estate development firm, Bayrock Group, partnered with the Trump Organization on multiple projects, including the Trump Soho Hotel in New York City. The company's former finance director, Jody Kriss, filed a lawsuit in 2010 alleging that Bayrock's principals, Tevfik Arif and Felix Sater, were involved in money laundering and tax evasion. The lawsuit was settled in 2018, and the terms of the settlement were not disclosed. Sater, a Russian-born businessman, was also convicted for stock fraud in a separate case in the late 1990s.
Right to left: A convicted felon Sater, a suspect in money laundering and an acquitted o the charges of financing of sex party with minors, Arif, standing with a charged in 34 federal crimes ex-US President
This story is actually classic and beautiful and let’s elaborate on it in a bit more of details:
Bayrock Group, a real estate development company founded by Tevfik Arif, partnered with the Trump Organization on multiple projects. One of the most notable projects was the Trump Soho Hotel in
New York City. Back in the time I actually advised a client on this case where the client entered into a contract which I would call a sort of a time-share contract which not anything close to a balanced agreement. The has written off a few hundred thousand dollars and felt lucky that he never invested more.
Trump Soho Hotel, a 46-story luxuryhotel-condominium building, was a joint venture between the Trump Organization, Bayrock Group, and Sapir Organization. The Trump Organization primarily provided its brand name and management services for the property, while Bayrock Group and Sapir Organization were responsible for the project's development and financing. The hotel, which opened in 2010, was located in the Soho neighborhood of Manhattan.
The Trump Soho project became a subject ofcontroversy for several reasons:
Legal Issues: In 2011, several buyers fileda lawsuit against the developers, including the Trump organization and Bayrock Group, claiming they were misled about the project's financial health and sales
figures. The lawsuit was ultimately settled, with the defendants agreeing to refund a portion of the buyers' deposits.
Bayrock Group Allegations: Bayrock Grouphas faced its share of controversies. The company's former finance director, Jody Kriss, filed a lawsuit in 2010 alleging that Bayrock's principals, Tevfik Arif and Felix Sater (born Felix Mikhailovich Sheferovsky), were involved in the mesmerizing saga of money laundering and tax evasion. The lawsuit was settled in 2018, with the terms of the settlement not being disclosed.
Felix Sater's Criminal Background: FelixSater, a Russian-born businessman and a former managing director of Bayrock Group, has a criminal past, including a 1998 conviction for his involvement in
a stock fraud scheme orchestrated by the Russian mafia. Sater's criminal history and his association with the Trump Soho project have been a point of concern for critics.
Felix Henry Sater /ˈseɪtər/ (born FelixMikhailovich Sheferovsky; Russian: Фе́ликс Миха́йлович Шеферовский; March 2, 1966) is a Russian-American mobster, convicted felon, real estate developer and former managing director of Bayrock Group LLC, a real estate conglomerate based out of New York City. He has been an advisor to corporations such as The Trump Organization, and the Mirax Group. I encourage you to google "Mirax Group Russia" and you will enjoy another John Le Carré - like reading for the rest of your day.
In 1998, Sater pleaded guilty to hisinvolvement in a $40 million stock fraud scheme orchestrated by the Russian Mafia, and became an informant for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and federal prosecutors, assisting with organized crime investigations. In 2017, Sater agreed to cooperate with investigators into international moneylaundering schemes.
Of course during Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, Sater worked with Michael Cohen, former attorney for TheTrump Organization, to broker a deal to build a Trump Tower Moscow, asserting to Cohen that hecould boost Trump's election prospects through his Russian contacts. On June 21, 2019, Sater was issued a subpoena by the House Intelligence Committee after herefused a request to testify voluntarily. On July 9, 2019, Sater appeared before the House Intelligence Committee, but repeatedly withheld testimony and documents concerning the details of a false joint defense agreement and thus remains under subpoena.
Trump Ocean Club International Hotel and Tower, Panama: In 2017, an investigation by the Global Witness, a non-governmental organization, reported that several individuals involved in the Trump Ocean Club International Hotel and Tower project in Panama were allegedly engaged in money laundering. One of the key players was Alexandre Ventura Nogueira, a Brazilian real estate broker who had been arrested for
fraud in 2009. He was responsible for selling a significant number of units in the Trump-branded tower and was accused of laundering money for drug cartels and other criminal organizations through these sales.
Alexandre Ventura Nogueira, a fairly honest person in the Trump's circle: only known to be arrested for fraud
According to Ventura, the Trumps never inquired about his clients who purchased condo units, and he didn't disclose that information to them. Ventura sold numerous units at the Trump Ocean Club to David Murcia Guzmán, the founder of a large Colombian marketing company. However, Guzmán got into U.S. custody and subsequently got extradicted to Colombia for money laundering on behalf of drug cartels, including through real estate transactions. Guzmán also reportedly had financial connections to the FARC, a paramilitary organization classified as a terrorist group by the State Department. Furthermore, Louis Pargiolas, an early investor in the project, pleaded guilty in a federal court in Miami in 2009 to conspiring to import cocaine, indicating a link between drug trafficking and the Trump Ocean Club.
David Murcia Guzmán, charged in money laundering on behalf of drug cartels.
Ventura says about half of the units he sold at the Trump Ocean Club were to Russians. To help handle them, Ventura went into business with several Russian-speaking real estate brokers, who he admits have had checkered pasts, including one named Stanislav Kavalenka. According to Ontario court documents, Kavalenka was charged in Canada with a number of offenses, including “compelling” and “procuring” women to engage in prostitution.
Another investor in Ventura’s firm was Arkady Vodovozov. According to court files cited by Reuters, he was convicted of kidnapping and another 7 felonies in Israel with the tight connections to the Solntsevo criminal group in Moscow through one of its leaders- Sergei Mikhailov- Mikhas. A third representative of the brokerage firm, described by Ventura as an occasional buyer at the Trump Ocean Club, was Igor Anapolskiy, according to Ukrainian court documents. He was convicted in September 2014 by a court in Ukraine of forging travel documents, according to Global Witness.
A rare photo: in the middle Semen Mogilevich and Sergey Mikhailov (Mikhas), both famous Russian criminal leaders.
A truly beautiful company for the POTUS.
The Trump Taj Mahal Casino saga.
Trump Taj Mahal Casino: In 1998 and 2015,which apparently shows some consistency, the Trump Taj Mahal Casino in Atlantic City got fined by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) for violating anti-money laundering regulations. The now bankrupt casino failed to implement an effective anti-money laundering program, enabling suspicious transactions, and not reporting them as required by law. Let’s elaborate on it a bit more:
1998 Violation: FinCEN imposed a $477,700 civil penalty on Trump Taj Mahal Casino for violating the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA). The casino failed to file Currency Transaction Reports (CTRs) for a high volume of cash transactions exceeding $10,000, which is required by law. The violations occurred between 1990 and 1998, with more than 100 instances of unreported transactions. While the 1998 penalty focused on the casino rather than specific individuals, it happened during a period when, by a mere coincidence, Donald Trump was the majority owner of the property.
2015 Violation: FinCEN imposed a $10million civil penalty on Trump Taj Mahal Casino in 2015 for repeated and significant AML violations. The casino failed to implement and maintain an effective AML program, leading to numerous BSA violations. They did not properly report suspicious activity and did not maintain adequate records of currency transactions. By the time of the 2015 penalty, the casino was under the ownership of Trump Entertainment Resorts, a separate entity from the Trump Organization. Donald Trump had a minority ownership stake in Trump Entertainment Resorts at that time.
The civil penalties imposed by FinCEN targeted the casino itself, and specific individuals were not named or accused in the regulatory actions. The penalties highlight the casino's failure to comply with AML regulations and the BSA, which are crucial tools for detecting and preventing financial crimes, including money laundering and terrorist financing.
Trump International Hotel and Tower, Vancouver: The Trump Organization partnered with the Holborn Group, a Canadian
real estate developer, to build the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Vancouver. The company's owner, Joo Kim Tiah, has been linked to the controversial Malaysian 1MDB fund, which was at the center of a massive money laundering scandal. While Joo Kim Tiah, CEO of the Holborn Group, has been linked to the controversial Malaysian 1MDB fund due to his family's business
connections, there is no direct evidence implicating him in the money laundering scandal. The 1MDB scandal is a complex financial fraud case involving the Malaysian government, banks, and high-ranking officials.
Here is what Wikipedia returns on the 1Malaysia Development Berhad scandal:
Quote: often referred to as the 1MDB scandal or just 1MDB, describes a corruption, bribery and money laundering conspiracy in which the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) was systematically embezzled, with assets diverted globally by the perpetrators of the scheme. It had a global scope, implicated institutions and individuals in politics, banking, and entertainment, and sparked criminal investigations across a number of nations. The 1MDB scandal has been described as "one of the world's greatest financial scandals" and declared by the United States Department of Justice as the "largest kleptocracy case to date" in 2016. Unquote.
The Trumps and Joo Kim Tiah. Who cares where Malasia is anyway?
1MDB, or 1Malaysia Development Berhad, is aMalaysian government-owned investment fund that was established in 2009. The fund's purpose was to promote economic development in Malaysia. However, it became the center of a massive money laundering scandal in which an estimated $4.5 billion was misappropriated between 2009 and 2014.
The scandal involved several prominent Malaysian figures, including former Prime Minister Najib Razak, who was found guilty on multiple charges related to the 1MDB case, including money laundering and abuse of power. Jho Low, a Malaysian financier, was also implicated as the mastermind behind the fraud.
Joo Kim Tiah's connection to the 1MDBscandal is indirect, stemming from his father, Tony Tiah Thee Kian. Tony Tiah is the chairman of TA Enterprise, a Malaysian financial services company. In the past, TA Enterprise was involved in business transactions with companies connected to the 1MDB scandal. However, Tiah has not been directly accused of money laundering in this case.
While there have been allegations andaccusations of money laundering involving some of Donald Trump's partners and associates on this matter, it is crucial to note that 65 million + of US voters have entrusted him the role of the US President.
Here is where I would like to apply one of those Almodavar's retrospective methods, being sometimes described as "a slightly provocative and outside the box type approach, using strong symbolism, metaphorical techniques and references to art".
To see the context of Donald Trump I propose to look at one of Trump's idols and see the overal context of their joint activity.
Vladimir Putin. It is a widely known mistake that highlights the analysts' most feared mistake in the world. These analysts believe that Putin governs a group of corrupt elites whose primary focus is hedonism and excessive consumption, albeit on a grotesque scale. However, this perception does not capture the true essence of Putin's era. The entirety of Putin's reign was aimed at more than just enriching his associates.
By taking control of the economy, political system, and legal framework, the KGB established a regime where the vast sums of money available to Putin's cronies were actively utilized to undermine and corrupt Western institutions and democracies. I have first heard about this strategy from confidential, secret, and top-secret materials that my father, a high-ranking official in the Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union (TASS), received daily and woud be mostly too busy to read, while I would starting from the age of 12. These materials, amongst other, revealed the Andropov-Primakov plan, which aimed to relaunch the Soviet Union but was never implemented due to Andropov's premature death. The plan included a comprehensive strategy to undermine the foundations of Western democracy, particularly the political system of the United States, and eventually divide it into three separate countries, thus facilitating Soviet influence worldwide.
This has a limited relevance to our discussion but Andropov took the plan of Josepf Stalin who had intentions to restrict the authority of the CPSU (Communist Party) as well. He seriously contemplated the possibility of eradicating the territorial fragmentation of the Soviet Union, an idea passed down from Stalin. Ultimately, the USSR collapsed as the republics broke away. Additionally, it becomes evident that the elimination of political parties, including the CPSU, was also under consideration.There were multiple approaches considered by Stalin to achieve this goal, including proposals for a new Constitution in 1936 and discussions held during the Plenum of the Central Committee of the CPSU in 1952. This is very-very bad news to Bashkiriya, Altay, Buryatia, Dagestan, Ingushetija, Osetia, Chechnya etc, overall 24 nternal national republics are going to be eliminated very soon in Russia following a bloody internal terror to be started by the Putin's regime very soon.
In brief, this strategy only represents the method employed, rather than the true essence of Vladimir Putin's reasoning. To shed light on that reasoning, I will now share the fragmented information I have gathered over the decades as a trusted companion to influential Russians, due to various reasons, but primarily because of the workings of fate itself. Putin comes from an unconventional family background, and while we could endlessly speculate about the reasons, what is important to note is that his grandfather belonged to a family that believed they greatly aided Joseph Stalin, the leader of the Soviet Union, by gradually poisoning Vladimir Lenin to his demise on January 21, 1924. Putin's grandfather served as Lenin's personal cook, but despite the family's expectations of a deserving reward, they were forgotten and eventually banished to the outskirts of the Soviet Empire. Putin's father had to rebuild his life within Stalin's regime and was involved in a grim role at the NKVD, the predecessor of the KGB. For instance, during the war against Germany, he served as a machine gunner responsible for executing Soviet troops during the beginning of the war massive retreats. However, his efforts proved futile, as neither Putin's father nor his mother were able to secure influential positions within the Soviet regime's hierarchy.
The unfortunate aspect of young Vladimir's family history was the revelation that emerged from my sources: his uncle subjected Vladimir to molestation when he was merely 9 years old. Distressed by this traumatic experience, the boy confided in his mother, recounting the disturbing events. Shockingly, his mother chose not to believe him and, astonishingly, the following year she entrusted the boy to her brother once again. It was during this period that Vladimir became exposed to a profoundly destructive concept—seeking revenge against the entire world. This fixation led him to develop an intense fascination with one of the most malevolent, ruthless, yet influential organizations on the planet: the KGB.
As the Soviet Union eventually crumbled, the KGB witnessed a significant decline in its capabilities. Consequently, Vladimir shifted his focus to the Russian mafia, driven by a similar desire for power and protection. In summary, while Vladimir Putin indeed manipulates kleptocratic elites and indulges in conspiracy theories, his ultimate motivation lies solely in exacting vengeance upon the world or, put differently, all living creatures within it. Presently, he presides over a state that predominantly comprises individuals fervently charged by Nazi-like propaganda, individuals who would soon be willing to sacrifice their lives for him, reminiscent of the blind devotion seen under the rule of another deranged leader—Joseph Stalin. Recognizing this truth is crucial for the very continuation of our existence: Vladimir Putin is only a temporary ally to the people who surround him.
So, we now need to get back to as early as 1970s
During the 1970s, the Soviet Union used a system of foreign trade associations to carry out foreign trade operations. These associations were created to implement direct export-import operations, as well as for the purchase of equipment, including for military production. Additionally, through these enterprises, funds necessary for solving foreign policy problems (such as assisting workers' parties, friendly regimes, conducting operations of special services, and for unofficial or semi-legal purchase of equipment) were accumulated in Western accounts. These funds were managed through offshore accounts and were fully and exclusively controlled by the highest ranking KGB officers.
One of these foreign trade associations was Sovcomflot, which was created in 1958 to manage the Soviet Union's commercial shipping fleet. By the 1970s, Sovcomflot had become a significant part of the Soviet Union's foreign trade operations. The company was staffed with 15% professionals and 85% security officers, and it was fully controlled by the KGB.
The system of accumulation of funds was fully operational by the end of 1972. In the autumn of 1973, the oil crisis began, and oil prices increased four times, from $3 to $12 per barrel in 1974. Despite this increase in prices, the plan for the transfer of funds for 1974 remained the same, and as a result, a significant balance was formed in the accounts where the funds were accumulated.
The Operators were a group of KGB officers who were responsible for managing bank accounts associated with the funds accumulated through foreign trade associations. The group was made up of a close-knit group of people who were directly connected to the KGB. They were held together by an internal charter, mutual responsibility, distributed powers, and collective leadership. The fear of physical destruction was also a factor that kept them together.
The group became increasingly independent as time passed, but it retained deep formal and informal ties with the KGB system. By the mid-1980s, it was a group that was independent enough to make decisions outside the system of the Soviet hierarchy.
The significant amount of funds accumulated by the Operators became a driving force itself, and the Soviet economy sought ways to get the funds back. The funds could be used to buy more grain, spend on consumer goods, and invest in machines for the defense industry. However, the funds were managed in a different system where money grows and multiplies. The best way to multiply the funds was to return them to their homeland, but only to a country with a different economic system and technological cycle. This way, the group based on the mighty system of the Soviet special services could absorb a huge country.
It is important to note that while the activities of the Operators were significant, they were not the sole cause of the perestroika and the subsequent collapse of the USSR. Many factors converged to lead to these events, but the significance of the Operators and the structures associated with the KGB should not be underestimated.
During the 1970s, it has been claimed that around $100 billion dollars, sometimes also referred to as "the Gold of the Communist Party", was taken out of the Soviet Union by certain KGB-related individuals using only two offshore companies based in the British Virgin Islands. Allegedly, one of these companies was owned by Yuri Andropov with a 99% stake, and Evgeny Primakov holding the remaining 1%, while the other company was primarily owned by Primakov with a 99% stake and Andropov owning 1%. It has been suggested that these funds were used to aid the privatization of Russia through mobile units organized by the KGB, which acquired a small Austrian cooperative bank connected to a local village lumber shop. Pavel Gurin- the person who I have received this information from, suddenly died at the age of 44 being at the time the Chairman of the Management Board of Raiffeisenbank Russia.
Evgeny Primakov is giving instructions to one of his operatives, Vladimir Putin, already the President of the Russian Federation
Yuri Andropov the Chairman of KGB andn a short-term leader of the Soviet Union, who has allegedly planned a coup-d'etat to overtake Soviet Union.
In the fall of 2007, being a banking and finance lawyer working for an international law firm I was tasked with an urgent merger and acquisition job that was purportedly received through Gazprombank. Although I was not directly involved in the deal, a colleague requested that I review some documents related to the disclosure requirements for the Bank of Russia. During my review, I was surprised to discover that the papers pertained to Raiffeisenbank and involved the sale of a controlling stake in a Swiss company that ultimately owned Raiffeisenbank Austria. Notably, the seller's document was signed by Semen Mogilevich and the buyer's by Vladimir Putin. Personally. My involvement was only limited to the provision of guidance on how to properly file the documents with the Bank of Russia.
This honorable gentleman is Semen Mogilevich. The photo is courtesy of the FBI website. [Just in case you did not pay attention, this person is on another photo in this article].
The Lieberman theory proposed improvements in the system of management of the USSR industry in the 1965 Central Committee of the CPSU Plenum. It emphasized the importance of a branch system of industrial management and the need to intensify economic methods for industrial management. The new system combined unified government planning with total cost-accounting operation of enterprises, centralized branch management with broad republic and local economic initiative, and the principle of one-man control with the enlargement of the role of production collectives. The economic reform introduced a substitution of plan targets for the volume of output to be sold for enterprises, profit and profitability indices for evaluating the effectiveness of the work of enterprises, and the formation of a special source of incentive payments above and beyond centrally established wage rates. The reform was inseparable from the simultaneous restructuring of industrial management, and it emphasized the importance of improving the price formation system.
During this conversation he emphasized, citing the same strategy, that for a successful reform, the Soviet Union would need sufficient resources to ensure the division of the United States into three distinct nations: one for "red states," another for "blue states," and a third for minority groups. As we have extensively discussed, according to him, this approach necessitated a local market with a minimum of 300,000,000 consumers, ideally reaching 500,000,000 consumers, to establish a self-contained new Soviet Union. This rationale not only clarifies the efforts to acquire territories like Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Kazakhstan, the Baltic countries, and Eastern European nations, but also extends to include Germany. But again, do not think that this is where the ambitions end. No: they need everything. The whole World. The whole planet.
Vladimir Putin and Arkady Volsky- the authors of the coup d'etat in Russia
Recently US prosecutors are reported to have launched a money-laundering investigation into Gennady Timchenko, a billionaire acquaintance of Vladimir Putin and a member of the Russian president’s inner circle, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Gennady Timchenko, another KGB operative fronting the Russian expansion to the West.
According to the report, which cites people familiar with the matter, the US attorney’s office for the eastern district of New York is examining whether Timchenko , an oil and gas trader, transferred funds related to allegedly corrupt deals in Russia through the US financial system and money laundering investigation is being held in connection to this in relation to Hypo Vorarlberg, which a subsidiary of, well...Raiffeisenbank.
Gennady Timchenko and Arkady Rotenberg, both are close associates of Vladimir Putin.
Operators and Operatives of the FSB era
As discussed, during the 1990s, following the collapse of the Soviet Union and its economy, various groups of powerful figures in Russia, known as "operators," in the total absense of any interest from the winner of the Cold War, established criminal groups with the goal of taking control of the country's industry. I am of the opinion that there had to be around 70-80 of the operators' criminal groupds. I know RosBuilding, MinFin, SberbankCapital and Universitet from my personal experience, but of course heard of many more. These operators consisted mainly of former KGB officers who maintained close ties with current members of the special service, which now had different leaders and names.
One of the key resources of the operators was money, which they used to buy up assets and control economic counterparties. In the early 90s, no one in Russia had real money except for the operators, but the world had plenty of it. To prevent large foreign money from entering Russia, the operators worked to ensure that potential investors understood that investments in Russia were extremely risky. This strategy was successful, and even players like Soros had to act very carefully.
It is astounding to observe the complete failure and apparent lack of interest displayed by the USA and NATO in establishing control over the process of the collapse of their recent adversary, USSR, a country possessing approximately 4,500 nuclear warheads, any one of which has the potential to drastically alter the world as we know it.
The operators also invested in the Chekist (self-naming of KGB) resource, which was the most important part of their scheme. They needed specific people who could resolve issues in courts and councils, help counterparties deal with emerging problems, and control these same counterparties to receive full-fledged information about them. The operators used their connections with the special service to cultivate a network of operatives who could provide this type of assistance.
The operatives' activity was diverse, but their ability to create and work with compromising material (BCM) quickly became the main tool on which the operators relied. This was particularly important in resolving personnel issues, dealing with officials, and maintaining control over the situation in the country. While work with compromising material was just one element of the struggle for assets, it was a defining element in their control over the country.
In addition to these tactics, the operators also invested in Chekist resource. This resource consisted of former KGB officers who preserved and developed close ties with current employees of the special service. These operatives played a crucial role in resolving issues in courts and councils, helping counterparties deal with emerging problems, and controlling these same counterparties to receive full-fledged information about them.
Different companies, such as Sovintorg, were on the same course as Yukos in the early 90s. Some of them coped with the tasks, and the operators continued to work with them. Some were ineffective as an economic counterparty or were an insufficiently controlled structure, and they were rubbed off.
If one carefully studies the history of this or that oil or metallurgical giant of the 90s, in the confusing scheme of offshore companies, there will certainly be an offshore with a strange name that was created in the 70s and early 80s, and from the accounts of which the main investments for all major transactions of the initial period came. For example, Alexander Privalov analyzed the first trial in the case of Lebedev and Khodorkovsky and wondered why Khodorkovsky's lawyers suddenly did not raise the question of who really owns the offshore companies "Kilda" (created in 1974) or "Jamblik" (created in 1984), to which all the key threads of the prosecution converged. By 1996, the offshore company with the name "Dzhamblik" was already the owner of a large stake in the Bratsk Aluminum Plant and other assets of the empire of the Chernoy brothers.
There exists a captivating narrative reminiscent of a John Le Carré novel surrounding the Chernoy brothers, their involvement in the aluminum industry, the city of New York, the FBI, Rudy Giuliani, Russian spies, gangsters, and various other elements that encapsulate the essence of a thrilling pulp fiction tale. I encourage you to conduct a quick search on the internet to explore this fascinating story further.
Conflict of the Operators and the Operatives
The process of asset absorption and consolidation in Russia during the late 90s and early 2000s. The main objective was to gain control over the country and its key assets. The KGB structure was created and effectively operating, which allowed indirect control over property and key processes in the country. However, the formal owners of these assets increasingly saw them as their own, leading to the creation of the structure of operas to take control of these assets and provide space for development.
The conflict between the operators and the operatives was eventually resolved in favor of the latter, resulting in the dominance of power pressure and direct control. Putin's first term began as a triumph of the operators but ended as their complete defeat. The Chekists began a task to completely seize the country and rebuild it into a system of bureaucratic capitalism. In the early 2000s, the concept of "operas and operators" was built on their conflict, but now, interpenetration rather than conflict exists between them.
The legal scheme was limited in its possibilities, and the power tool of arrest was highly effective in the absorption and consolidation of assets. This process often involved the police, who played a technical role and were given some level of carte blanche in their actions. The seizure of assets went through several stages, including the consolidation of already controlled assets, the takeover of privatized enterprises, the absorption of undivided assets in the regions, and the capture of new modern assets.
To ensure the consolidation of regional assets, the independence of local authorities, primarily governors, was limited. The main assets that the Chekists took over in the first half of the 2000s were the assets of privatized enterprises, which were illegitimate in the eyes of a significant part of the population and felt as "theirs" by the Chekists themselves. However, these quickly ran out, leading to the absorption of other significant undivided assets in the regions. The takeover of Chichvarkin's Euroset was a clear signal to those who had not yet understood who and what they were dealing with.
A highly centralized and controlled system existed at the time in Russia, where the operatives and Chekists use various means to consolidate and maintain their power. Understanding the power dynamics and methods used by those in control is essential to navigate the system effectively. The importance of recognizing the limited possibilities of the legal scheme and the effectiveness of power tools such as arrest in the absorption and consolidation of assets cannot be underestimated. While the police played an important role in the process, the Chekists need this resource to seize property and control the country which they have received through a European cooperative bank.
US Elections of 2016
In my opinion, the driving force behind Trump's actions primarily revolves around monetary gains. This motive may seem somewhat predictable. However, it is important to note that when the Russians approached Donald with their proposition, there was an extensive collection of compromising material, known as "compromat," on him, gathered by the KGB. Based on the information I have received, the materials that could potentially be used for blackmailing this individual primarily revolve around offenses such as money laundering and tax evasion. However, there are also allegations of involvement in other unsavory activities, including alleged sex trafficking. These matters have gained significant attention and discussion within influential circles in Moscow, with the individual in question also facing accusations of pedophilia dating back to the 1990s. Actually, one of my sources is telling me that here is how KGB has hooked him up in the first place. Very consistently Russia acted during the 2016 Elections in the USA by making everything possible for Donald Trump to come to power. Trump of course was the main favorite of Vladimir Putin and the whole Russia-related world establishment, but also let us elaborate in brief on the details of the Trump's team and Russia joint efforts. When Russia set out to interfere with the 2016 election, it employed an extensive range of tactics to achieve its goals. The U.S. intelligence community, supported by evidence gathered by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, concluded that Russia's objective was to damage the Clinton campaign, bolster Trump's chances, and undermine trust in American democracy. The details of these efforts have gradually emerged through intelligence agency memos, court documents, testimonies, and investigative news reports. Politico has prepared a fabulous in its simplicity chart of all the connections layers Russia has made available for the communication with Donald Trump and in general, albeit a bit naive to some extent, it shows the overall idea well so I am just citing it in full:
The story surrounding Donald Trump and Russia remains uncertain, with Democrats in Congress seeking answers through investigations. However, it is undeniable that a complex network of connections exists between Trump, his associates, and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The charts above provide visual representations of numerous links, such as meetings between Russian officials and individuals from Trump's campaign and administration. They also highlight Trump's daughter's associations with Putin's acquaintances, his 2013 visit to Moscow for the Miss Universe pageant, and his brief involvement in a mixed martial arts venture with one of Putin's favored athletes. Solid lines indicate established facts, while dotted lines represent speculative or unverified connections. While most of these ties do not inherently imply wrongdoing, they expose a vast and enigmatic web that has been a source of concern throughout Trump's presidency and is likely to continue impacting the White House in the months ahead.
Donald Trump with Aras Agalarov, who Putin once referred to as: "my favorite- he solves my problems instead of creating them"
According to American and Russian media reports, Donald Trump, the 45th President-elect of the United States, made multiple visits to Russia. Here is a summary of those visits based on the information available:
- July 1987: Trump visited Leningrad with his first wife, Ivana. The purpose of the trip was to explore business opportunities, specifically the construction of a luxury hotel in collaboration with the Soviet government and the travel company "Intourist." By a funny coincidence, Ludmila Narussova whowed him the city, the same Narussova who is now a Russian Senator, one of the main Putin's ally used to be the wife of the future mayor of St.Petersburg and the immediate superious of Vladimir Putin and also, the mother of the future decoy pocket president candidate in favor of Putin- Ksenia Sobchak.
- November 1996: Trump traveled to Moscow accompanied by representatives of the American company U.S. Tobacco. The official purpose of this visit was to discuss the construction of an upscale residential complex for foreign businessmen. My sources indicate hat this is where Trump got into the criminal investigation by FSB (razrabotka FSB) development that has to do with a minors sexual exploitation.
- December 1996: Trump, along with other members of the Trump Organization, returned to Moscow. During this visit, negotiations took place with Vladimir Resin, the First Deputy Prime Minister of the Moscow Government. The main focus of the discussions was the Trump Tower residential complex project, with a potential investment of around $300 million. Additionally, the possibility of Trump's involvement in the financing of another business center that would include a skating rink and a residential complex was considered. There were also talks about Trump's participation in the renovation of the Moscow and Rossiya hotels and the construction of the "Park of Miracles," a large children's entertainment center.
- Early 1997: Trump visited Moscow once again and met with sculptor Zurab Tsereteli. According to American media, Trump proposed a plan to create a monumental statue of Christopher Columbus in Manhattan, similar in size to the Statue of Liberty. However, this project did not come to fruition.
- November 2013: Trump organized the Miss Universe beauty contest in Moscow, which he co-owned from 1996 to 2015 in partnership with NBC. Media reports suggest that Trump received $14 million from Azerbaijani businessman Aras Agalarov and other investors for hosting the event at Moscow's Crocus City Hall. Trump had hoped for a personal meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin during this visit and even posted a tweet asking if Putin would attend the competition and become his new best friend. However, we are unaware if the the meeting did take place.
Deputy Chairman of Sberbank Lev Khasis with Donald Trump. A photo that hanged only for a few days in Facebook and then the author, Deputy Chairman of the main Russian bank, Sberbank, has posted and then suddenly deleted. "Vanity is my favorite sin".
The photo is one of my favorite photos of Donald Trump and it is followed by even more interesting statement made by Lev Khasis to explain the photo:
Gref has organized a meeting with the Board of Sberbank with Donald Trump who for a couple of hours has captivated the audience for several hours with his fascinating and clever discussions on real estate, his political perspectives, the Miss Universe competition, his admiration for Putin, and his willingness to address our inquiries. Interestingly, the Miss Universe final is set to take place tomorrow in Moscow, attracting a staggering 2.5 billion viewers worldwide. Notably, Sberbank serves as the event's primary sponsor.
Chairman of the Management Board and CEO of Sberbank German Gref and Deputy Chairman of Sberbank Lev Khasis
Imagine, just for a moment, that Gref and Trump decide to come together with all the Deputies of Sberbank to delve into the Russian strategy for arranging funding for election campaigns. In this scenario, Gref would undoubtedly insist on the presence of his financial control experts, alongside a representative from FSB (Federal Security Service). To add a touch of ideal expertise and bridge the US-Russian connection, Lev Khasis, with his dual citizenship and prior experience, would be the perfect addition.
Chairman of the Management Board and CEO of Sberbank German Gref and dictator Vladimir Putin during the main discussion at the Artificial Intelligence Journey Conference.
Sberbank, as the largest bank in Russia, operates a diverse range of subsidiaries and affiliated companies across various sectors. Sberbank's share of the credit card market stood at 46.3% as of Jan. 1, up 2.5 percentage points in 2022, underscoring the lender's dominance of the Russian banking sector and its fundamental importance to the economy. Here are some of the notable subsidiaries of Sberbank:
- Sberbank of Russia (Sberbank Rossii) - This is the main banking subsidiary of Sberbank and provides a wide range of financial services, including retail banking, corporate banking, investment banking, and asset management.
- Sberbank CIB - This subsidiary focuses on investment banking and provides services such as capital markets, corporate finance, and advisory services to corporate clients.
- Sberbank Insurance - This subsidiary offers insurance products and services, including life insurance, property insurance, and health insurance.
- Sberbank Asset Management - This subsidiary specializes in asset management and provides investment solutions for individuals, institutions, and corporate clients.
- Sberbank Leasing - This subsidiary offers leasing services for various assets, including vehicles, equipment, and real estate.
- Sberbank Technology - This subsidiary focuses on technological development and digital transformation within Sberbank. It drives innovation and supports the bank's digital initiatives, such as mobile banking and artificial intelligence solutions.
- Sberbank Real Estate - This subsidiary is involved in real estate development, management, and investment activities.
- Sberbank Private Banking - This subsidiary provides personalized banking and wealth management services for high-net-worth individuals.
- Sberbank Investments - This subsidiary focuses on investing in various sectors and asset classes, including private equity, venture capital, and strategic investments.
These are just a few examples of the subsidiaries of Sberbank. The bank has a wide range of other subsidiaries and affiliated companies that operate in different industries, contributing to the bank's overall business diversification and market presence.
There are certain subsidiaries of Sberbank that raise questions regarding their purpose, such as Sberbank Capital LLC. Let's take a closer look at Sberbank Capital LLC as an example. Despite officially employing 181 individuals, the company has been consistently operating at a loss since 2016, without generating any profits. The reason behind this peculiar situation becomes apparent when considering the company's role in financing the overseas activities of the Federal Security Service (FSB) of Russia. Essentially, these quasi-investment activities are believed to be associated with the potential financing of terrorism on a global scale.
There is little exagerration in this statement: the KGB yet in the 70-es have found a bullet-proof structure allowing them to finance any type of terrorist activities: operation at a loss. As early as back in the 70-es they started to make unsuccessful hedges backdated so that the beneficiary of the other side of the hedge would very lawfully be making legit profit.
Let's look at one hypothetical transaction that could have happened back in 2012-2014 and involved an acquisition of a delpeted gold mine located at the Kotayk area of Armenia. The money was provided by Sberbank Capital in 2014, while the owner of the assets, a Luxemburg company AMGM S.A.R.L. owned 100% in ZAO Paramount Gold Company (Armenia), which in turn 100% owned OOO Lernain Asrtutyun (Armenia).
In the said 2014 Sberbank Capital gave over 70 million dollars to this chain of companies to write everything off as losses in the end of the same year of 2014.
An abstract from the risk analysis report by main Sberbank showig AMGM S.A.R.L. as an insignificant subsidiary.
The person behind the majority of Paramount Gold Mining CJSC back in the time was some Tigran Grishayi Arzakantsyan (Armenian: Տիգրան Գրիշայի Արզաքանցյան; born 7 August 1966) is an Armenian businessman and politician who formerly served as a deputy of the National Assembly of Armenia. He is the owner of the Great Valley wine and cognac company and is the current Chairman of the Strength of the Fatherland party.
Businessman Tigran Arzakantsyan's wife is Natalia Rotenberg. Rotenberg was the second wife of Russian tycoon Arkady Rotenberg, divorced in 2013
Arkady Rotenberg who in 2012 suddenly became a billioner. By coincidence, Mr. Rotenberg is a personal trainer of Vladimir Putin,
In the parliamentary elections on 12 May 2007, Tigran Arzakantsyan was elected as a deputy of the fourth convocation of the National Assembly from the Republican Party of Armenia in election district 22 of Gegharkunik Province. From 19 June 2007 to 11 July 2008, he was a member of the standing committee on healthcare, maternity and childhood, then until 4 May 2009 he was a member of the standing committee on social issues, from 4 May 2009 until the end of the fourth convocation he a member of a standing committee on economic issues. A number of Armenian media sources named him one of the most frequent absentees of parliament sessions.
Mr. Vladimir Putin and Mr. Serzh Sargsyan. By an interesting coincidence, in 2014 President Serzh Sargsyan was re-elected 2014 as the President of Armenia as the ruler of the same Republican Party where the beneficiary of the Paramount Gold majority owner had been a powerful functionary
Arzakantsyan was set to head the electoral list of the Democratic Party of Armenia in the 2021 Armenian parliamentary election held on 20 June 2021. However, on 10 June, he was disqualified from running for office as he was unable to meet the residency requirement (out of the past 1,461 days, Arzakantsyan had been absent from the country for 1,005 of them). In order to participate in an election, a candidate must be resident in Armenia for four years preceding the election date.
On 3 April 2022, Arzakantsyan founded the Strength of the Fatherland party and was nominated its Chairman.
Russian interference in the election of 2016 involved various strategies:
- Probing state voter databases: Russian actors targeted voter registration systems or state websites in at least 21 states, gaining full access to some systems and stealing hundreds of thousands of voters' personal information. The FBI alerted states about this threat two months before the election, but some officials were not informed until nearly a year later.
- Hacking the Clinton campaign: Russian military intelligence agents hacked into the emails of Hillary Clinton's campaign staff. They used deceptive emails disguised as Google security notifications to trick campaign members into changing their passwords, thereby granting the Russian agents access to their accounts. Tens of thousands of emails, including those of campaign chairman John Podesta, were stolen and later released through the persona "Guccifer 2.0" to WikiLeaks, causing negative news cycles for Clinton.
- Hacking the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC): The Russian hackers targeted the DCCC's computer network, installing malware that allowed them to access more computers and steal thousands of emails and documents related to the election.
- Hacking the Democratic National Committee (DNC): The hackers gained access to the DNC network through the compromised DCCC network. They created the Guccifer 2.0 persona to deflect attention from their actions and released thousands of stolen documents and emails via DCLeaks.com. WikiLeaks subsequently shared these documents, including the release of over 20,000 emails just before the Democratic National Convention.
Although it may look like it is all water under the bridge, but I am positive that the Russians will apply the same methods mutatis mutandis in the upcoming elections too.
Practical ideas on the finding of the evidence of paid money.
As mentioned in my previous article, Donald Trump's financial situation was extremely dire leading up to the 2016 elections, and the offer from the Russians appeared to be a genuine lifeline. It's worth noting that one of the tactics employed by the Chekists is to provide their agents with just enough funds to meet their immediate needs, without a penny more. This money was crucial in motivating Mr. Trump to take certain actions. To elaborate further, if I were in the FBI's position and attempting to uncover this, I would pursue the following steps:
i) I would investigate the possibility of a significant payment, around $300-320 million, originating from offshore entities or any of the Russian banks mentioned, namely VTB, Sberbank, or Promsvyazbank (PSB). It's also conceivable that the payments could be a combination, such as $150 million from Sberbank, $100 million from VTB, and $50 million from PSB. These funds might have been deposited into an account with a bank in Cyprus, let's say Alpha Bank located at Lemesou Avenue, Nicosia, Cyprus. Please note that this is merely a hypothetical scenario.
ii) Simultaneously, I would approach Deutsche Bank Americas, located at 875 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10022, to inquire whether the loans granted to Donald Trump were ever secured by means of a comfort letter, guarantees, letters of credit (including non-deliverable LCs), derivatives, hedging instruments, or a series of instruments (including swaps) provided by their parent company, Deutsche Bank, any of its affiliates, or any third party.
iii) Additionally, I would request information from Deutsche Bank located at Taunusanlage 12, 60325 Frankfurt am Main, regarding whether they have ever issued comfort letters, guarantees, letters of credit (including non-deliverable LCs), derivatives, hedging instruments, or a series of instruments (including swaps) to support the credit facilities provided to Donald Trump by any entity.
iv) I would seek assistance from BaFin (Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht), situated at Marie-Curie-Straße 24-28, 60439 Frankfurt am Main, Germany, to determine whether Deutsche Bank has made any provisions for losses associated with the loan extended to Donald Trump. If such provisions were made, I would inquire about the amount, and if not, I would seek an explanation.
v) Finally, I would formally request the Central Bank of Cyprus, located at 80 Kennedy Avenue, 1076, Nicosia, Cyprus, to provide a comprehensive list of all irrevocable guarantees and letters of credit opened between 2013 and 2023 that were issued to benefit Deutsche Bank by any bank in Cyprus.
By pursuing these investigative steps, one would have access to a wealth of information, enabling a deeper understanding of the situation at hand.
The importance of conducting a thorough investigation into potential Russian financing of foreign elections cannot be understated. Such an investigation is crucial due to the inherent dangers posed by corruption, as well as the relatively small amount of funds required to bribe a corrupt politician. While it may seem insignificant compared to a country's budget, the impact of these illicit financial activities can be devastating not only for the citizens of that particular country but also for the entire world.
Corruption undermines the principles of democracy and fairness, erodes public trust in institutions, and hampers the proper functioning of governments. When politicians are bribed, their decision-making processes become compromised, leading to policies that serve personal interests rather than the welfare of the people they are meant to represent. This distortion of the democratic process perpetuates social inequality, impedes economic growth, and fosters a climate of instability.
Furthermore, the repercussions of foreign election interference extend beyond national borders. In an interconnected world, the outcomes of elections in one country can have far-reaching consequences globally. For instance, a corrupt leader installed through illicit financing can weaken international alliances, disrupt diplomatic relations, and undermine efforts to address global challenges such as climate change, terrorism, and economic cooperation.
The post-World War II role of the United States as a global policeman has indeed allowed them to maintain a high level of debt. This function, while controversial at times, has contributed to maintaining stability and promoting democratic values across the world. However, the active pursuit by China and Russia to undermine this role and attain global dominance poses a significant threat not just to the United States but to the entire international order.
It is essential for the international community to resist such efforts by China and Russia, as the consequences of a power vacuum left by the absence of a global policeman would be immense. The United States' financial stability, which partly relies on fulfilling this role, would be jeopardized, potentially leading to severe economic challenges that could impact nations worldwide.
When examining the specific case of Vladimir Putin, it is imperative to adopt an objective approach. While it is valid to express concern regarding his mental state, potential threat to global stability, and adherence to principles of international law, diplomacy, and respect for human rights, it is necessary to exercise common sense and take appropriate actions based on the prevailing circumstances. Dealing with geopolitical challenges demands prudence and a steadfast commitment to peaceful resolutions. However, it would be unrealistic to expect a global terrorist to exhibit reasonable behavior, considering their nature and actions.
In essence, it is absolutely crucial to investigate potential instances of foreign election financing by Russia, given the detrimental consequences of corruption and the relatively low cost associated with bribing corrupt politicians. The impact of such actions extends well beyond the borders of the affected country, posing a significant threat to global stability and cooperation. Despite the United States' role as a global authority, which has allowed them to manage their debts, it is imperative to counter the efforts of China and Russia to undermine this position, as it is vital for the preservation of our global existence.
When dealing with specific individuals like Vladimir Putin, it is essential to uphold established principles and international norms to foster a world order that promotes peace and justice. However, under no circumstances should we hesitate to take immediate and decisive action to prevent any potential global catastrophe, utilizing any means necessary at every level.