A bombshell that awaits grand juries in probes of Trump Organization

Officially, three grand juries have been hearing testimony from witnesses in the Justice Department’s investigation of criminal activities by Trump Organizations and Trump campaign officials. These have included the U.S. Attorney’s Offices and federal courts in Manhattan, Washington, DC, and Alexandria, Virginia.

There is a strong possibility that other grand juries have been impaneled in other jurisdictions, including south Florida, northern Illinois, and Nevada. With the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York obtaining an immunity deal with Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg, the scope of the corruption probe that has now extended from the guilty plea entered by former Trump Organization attorney Michael Cohen to Weisselberg’s longtime involvement with Trump Organization financial activities could put the spotlight on Trump real estate investors in Miami, Chicago, and Las Vegas.

Although the media is focused on Weisselberg, it is noteworthy that his son, Jack Weisselberg, is the executive director of Ladder Capital Finance LLC, a major feeder of loans to Trump development projects around the country. Ladder Capital is linked to the Chetrit Group, a real estate development firm owned by Joseph Chetrit. In 2015, Chetrit settled a civil complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan by BTA Bank of Kazakhstan and the city of Almaty, Kazakhstan. Chetrit Group was accused of laundering of embezzled funds from the bank through condo purchases in Manhattan. This is the same template used by the Trump Organization, which laundered cash from criminals around the world through the purchase of Trump condos. Lawyers for the bank and Almaty said they had “reclaimed a significant asset that was traceable to the billions of dollars that were stolen from them.”

Chetrit was accused of assisting BTA Bank’s former chairman, Mukhtar Ablyazov, and Almaty’s former mayor, Victor Khrapunov, with laundering over $4 billion, including $300 million in city of Almaty funds. Ablyazov is the father-in-law of Khrapunov’s son, Ilyas. $10 billion went missing from BTA Bank, the third largest bank in Kazakhstan.

One of the matters of interest to prosecutors is whether any of the stolen BTA funds ended up being invested in Trump properties in Manhattan, Florida, Chicago, or Las Vegas, with the knowledge of Trump Organization officials, including Donald Trump and members of his family. Allen Weisselberg, who has been the Trump Organization’s money man since Trump’s father, Fred Trump, headed the firm, is said to know where every dime came from and went in his years with the company.

The shell company Ablyazov and Khrapunov used to launder the embezzled funds, Triadou SPV, SA, is incorporated in Luxembourg with an office in Geneva, Switzerland. Triadou is owned by SDG (Swiss Development Group) Capital, SA of Geneva. The two companies appear to be merely laundering activities and there are financial links between them and Bayrock LLC, a real estate firm in which former Trump associate, Felix Sater, was a partner. Sater, formerly a “senior advisor to Donald Trump,” is currently a government informant. Sater and Michael Cohen are also lifelong friends.

Bayrock was partnered with the Trump Organization in the building of the Trump SoHo condo/hotel building in Manhattan, which has since been sold by Trump, ultimately ending up in bankruptcy. Victor Khrapunov’s daughter, Elvira Kudryashov, purchased three Trump SoHo condos while Trump still had a financial stake in the building.

Some of BTA’s stolen funds were deposited by Khrapunov in the Eurasian Bank in Almaty, whereupon it was transferred to Eurasian accounts in Switzerland. Eurasian bank is owned by mobbed-up Alexander Mashkevich, another partner in Bayrock, along with Tevfik Arik, a Kazakhstan native, who was arrested in 2010 by Turkish police for throwing parties on his $60 million yacht where underage teen girls were present.

Federal prosecutors have at their disposal years of evidence collected on Chetrit, Sater, Khrapunov, Ablyazov, Cohen, and now, Weisselberg. Not only does this evidence lead to potential large scale money laundering by the Trump Organization, but also to another major partner in Chetrit’s real estate development schemes in Brooklyn: Jared Kushner.

Previously published in the Wayne Madsen Report.

Copyright © 2018 WayneMadenReport.com

Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and nationally-distributed columnist. He is the editor and publisher of the Wayne Madsen Report (subscription required).

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