Russian Lawyer From Trump Tower Meeting Charged In Money Laundering Case
A Russian lawyer and Fusion GPS associate who attended the infamous Trump Tower meeting has been charged with obstructing justice by making a “misleading declaration” in a separate money laundering case, according to the Washington Post.
Natalia Veselnitskaya – a Trump-hating fan of the late John McCain – was initially denied entry into the United States, only to be allowed into the country by former Attorney General Loretta Lynch under “extraordinary circumstances” so she could represent Fusion GPS client Prevezon Holdings in a civil case brought by the US attorney’s office in Manhattan.
Prevezon is owned by Russian and Israeli businessman Denis Katsyv, who settled the case for $5.9 million in fines after he was busted in a $230 million embezzlement and money laundering scheme reportedly sanctioned by Russian Officials, in which large sums of money were stolen from the Russian government and invested in New York real estate. Some of the missing funds were traced to Prevezon.
The department had alleged in a civil complaint that a Russian criminal organization ran an elaborate tax refund scheme, stealing the identities of targeted companies and filing sham lawsuits to incur fake losses for refund purposes.
Those involved made about $230 million in tax refunds, prosecutors said, and filtered the money through shell companies and eventually into Prevezon, a Cyprus-based real estate corporation. Prevezon, prosecutors said, laundered the funds into real estate, including by investing in high end commercial property and luxury apartments in Manhattan. –Washington Post
The alleged fraud was uncovered by attorneys hired by the victim firms to investigate, one of whom was deceased Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who died in custody.
Veselnitskaya was also a central figure in the Trump Tower meeting arranged by Fusion GPS associate Rob Goldstone – who admits “it appeared to me to have been a bait and switch of somebody who appeared to be lobbying for what I now understood to be the Magnitsky act,” which sanctions Russian officials thought to be involved in the Magnitsky death.
Of note, McCain was a key force behind the Magnitsky act:
In 2010, I traveled to Washington and told Sergei Magnitsky’s story to Senators Benjamin Cardin and John McCain. They were both shocked and appalled and proposed a new piece of legislation called The Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act. This would freeze assets and ban visas for those who killed Sergei as well as other Russians involved in serious human rights abuse. –The Atlantic
Meanwhile, hours before Veselnitskaya attended the Trump Tower meeting to lobby Trump Jr. about the Magnitsky act, she met with Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson.
In late November of 2017, The Daily Caller‘s Chuck Ross reported that heavily redacted Fusion GPS bank records reveal DNC law firm Perkins Coie paid Fusion a total of $1,024,408 in 2016 for opposition research on then-candidate Donald Trump – including the 34-page dossier.
Ross also reported that law firm Baker Hostelter paid Fusion $523,651 between March and October 2016 on behalf of a company owned by Katsyv to research Bill Browder, a London banker who helped push through the Magnitsky Act.
Why does it always seem to come back to Fusion GPS?