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The Trump, Giuliani, Kazakhstan oligarchs, and Russian mafia connection explained


Jun 6, 2004
This might be old news for some but I just recently read about this from Netherlands investigative TV show Zembla. Some background on them first:

Zembla (From Wiki):
Zembla is a Dutch television documentary programme by VARA and NPS. The documentaries are based on in-depth research. The program often deals with controversial topics.

VARA (from Wiki):
VARA Broadcasting Association, is a Dutch public broadcasting association that operates within the framework of the Netherlands Public Broadcasting system.

VARA originally focused on labour and socialism. In the era of Dutch pillarization the association had close links to the Social Democratic Workers Party and its successor, the Labour Party. For many years VARA's chairmen, such as Marcel van Dam and André Kloos, were prominent members of the party. Although the connection between the two organizations loosened, affinities remain, such as a large overlap between their respective support bases.


ZEMBLA: Trump Business Partner Accused of Involvement in Dutch-based Money Laundering Scheme
ZEMBLA: More documents and video here

  • Donald Trump partnered with American real estate development company Bayrock.
  • In 2005, Trump became 18% owner of 'Trump SoHo' Hotel, Bayrock owning the rest.
  • ZEMBLA investigation suggests that Bayrock laundered $1.5 million dollars by setting up a corporate structure in the Netherlands in 2007.
  • Bayrock is accused of perpetrating fraud on a grand scale through, among other things, Trump SoHo.
  • Bayrock also stands accused of large-scale tax fraud in New York.
  • NY State attorney F. Oberlander is prosecuting Bayrock.
  • F. Oberlander: ”Anybody running a business through a pattern of crime is guilty of racketeering. Anybody knowing what they're doing and are helping is guilty of racketeering conspiracy. They go to jail."
  • Bayrock tells ZEMBLA that the Dutch corporate structure was established on the advice of an external legal counsel.
  • ZEMBLA discovers that the firm in question is Bracewell & Giuliani. Rudy Giuliani is part-owner of the firm.
  • ZEMBLA obtained correspondence between the Bracewell & Giuliani and the Dutch director of a trust company in Amsterdam, which leaves no doubt as to the ultimate beneficiary owners of the Dutch business structure: the director of Bayrock and the Khrapunov family from Kazakhstan.
  • Viktor Khrapunov is a fugitive ex-mayor and governor from Kazakhstan accused of embezzling hundreds of millions of Kazakhstan state assets.
  • In 2007, Bayrock and the Khrapunov family founded the Dutch joint venture KazBay B.V..
  • ZEMBLA obtained copies of the act of incorporation, bank statements and internal communications showing how the suspected money laundering scheme was set up. ”It was designed to get millions of dollars out of New York into Europe. Through KazBay. KazBay was just a conduit", asserts attorney Oberlander.
  • In 2007 Viktor Khrapunov's alleged criminal dealings become public knowledge. Around the same time, it also becomes clear that Felix Sater, one of the Bayrock owners, has concealed his criminal past and mafia connections.
  • Six months ago, the Financial Times reported that, in 2013, the Khrapunov family had bought three apartments in Trump SoHo to the tune of 3.1 million dollars. A sale from which Trump benefitted as joint owner.

Forbes (October 2016): Donald Trump And The Felon: Inside His Business Dealings With A Mob-Connected Hustler
(Link also contains documents and a chronological timeline)

Felix Sater is not a name that has come up much during the presidential campaign. That he has a colorful past is an understatement: The Russian-born Sater served a year in prison for stabbing a man in the face with a margarita glass during a bar fight, pleaded guilty to racketeering as part of a mafia-driven "pump-and-dump" stock fraud and then escaped jail time by becoming a highly valued government informant.

He was also an important figure at Bayrock, a development company and key Trump real estate partner during the 2000s, notably with the Trump SoHo hotel-condominium in New York City, and has said under oath that he represented Trump in Russia and subsequently billed himself as a senior Trump advisor, with an office in Trump Tower.
Trump has said, under oath, that he barely knew him. "If he were sitting in the room right now, I really wouldn't know what he looked like," he said in a deposition in November 2013. Asked how many times he had ever conversed with Sater, he said, "Not many." And asked about a previous BBC interview, in which he was questioned about Sater's mafia connections, Trump said he didn't recall the interview.
Trump told AP, referring questions about Sater to his staff. "I'm not that familiar with him."
Looking into Trump's deals, FORBES has uncovered numerous e-mails and sworn statements that indicate Sater was closer to Trump, his organization and his children than previously revealed. Additionally, FORBES has connected three billionaire oligarchs from Kazakhstan to potential deals involving Trump and Sater.
July 2016 A year-old private lawsuit against Bayrock, Sater and others, filed on behalf of the state of New York, is unsealed by a New York court. It alleges that the group sought to launder as much as $250 million of profits on Trump projects out of the country to evade taxation and hide its true foreign owners.
according to Sater's 2008 deposition. "I'd come back, pop my head into Mr. Trump's office and tell him, you know, 'Moving forward on the Moscow deal.' And he would say 'All right.'"