Everything you need to know about Felix Sater

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Re: Everything you need to know about Felix Sater

Postby seemslikeadream » Tue Mar 20, 2018 10:29 am

ROLE OF JUDGES IN HIDING TRUMP ACTIVITIES HELPED PAVE WAY FOR EVENTUAL VICTORY
Donald Trump, Felix Sater, Soho
Photo credit: Adapted by WhoWhatWhy from The White House / Wikimedia, Juan Ramos / Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0), and 591J / Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 4.0).
New revelations show that Donald Trump’s path to the presidency might have been much more difficult — if a panel of judges had acted differently in 2011.

Documents released by a federal appeals court in Manhattan on Friday, March 9, but thus far not reported, demonstrate that a panel of judges in 2011 blocked the release of extremely damaging information about then real-estate mogul Donald Trump as he was weighing a presidential run to the late Village Voice reporter Wayne Barrett, then working for the Daily Beast.

Those documents, if they had been released at the time, would have shown that Trump was accepting financing from a company that was headed by a convicted felon. Doing so knowingly is criminal fraud under federal banking laws.

The felon was Felix Sater, who has in recent months become a constant figure in the media limelight. However, the real import of Sater, and who knew what about him, was lost for years as a result of that 2011 court decision, and benefited Trump’s chances tremendously.

Those documents came from a lawsuit brought by New York lawyer Frederick Oberlander against Bayrock Group LLC, (10 cv. 03959). It charged that the firm, which funded Trump-licensed projects such as Trump SoHo as well as projects in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, and Phoenix, AZ, was receiving funding from a company which had Felix Sater as a concealed partner.

Sater had been convicted of two felonies, one involving assault and the other a $40 million stock scam. Sater had also worked closely with Donald Trump on real estate projects prior to his election, and even carried a business card identifying himself as a “senior advisor” to the Trump organization. He also reportedly had ties to the Russian mob.

Oberlander was represented by Richard Lerner, who at the time was a partner at the well-known insurance law firm, Wilson Elser in White Plains, NY. He was ousted from his firm when he refused to abandon Oberlander as his client.

Oberlander had been the subject of an injunction issued by the Manhattan-based US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit because he had used confidential information from Sater’s criminal file in mounting the lawsuit against Bayrock. After pleading guilty to the stock scam, Sater became a government cooperator and in return his criminal file was sealed, making it inaccessible to the public.

Sater was a partner, with an interest of as much as 63 percent, according to internal Bayrock documents cited in the lawsuit. Further, Sater’s interest as a partner was hidden by casting him as a lender — who was being repaid as much as $5 million that he had purportedly “loaned” the company.

Most tellingly, the lawsuit quoted from an email questioning whether hiding Sater’s criminal past was “breach of our soho lender reps.” (“Reps” is shorthand for legally required representations of material facts. The SoHo lender was Istar, which had loaned $275 million to develop Trump SoHo, a combined condominium/hotel.)

A timeline of critical events in 2007 reveals that Trump was indeed aware of Sater’s criminal past and that Sater was an equity partner in Bayrock:

Dec. 17, 2007 — New York Times publishes an article reporting that Sater, who was twice convicted, had business dealings with Donald Trump.
Dec. 19, 2007 — Trump is deposed in a lawsuit he brought against a reporter for defamation and asked about the Times story and whether he had dealings with Sater. Trump responded he would get to the “bottom” of that.
Jan. 21, 2008 — Email chain reveals that an all-hands-on-deck meeting had been scheduled at which all the Trumps — Donald Sr., Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric — were required by Trump Sr. to be present.
Jan. 28, 2008 — In a follow-up email chain, Sater reported that the meeting took place on Jan. 23 and that Trump SoHo’s lender, iStar, had been been informed that he, Sater, had “a large economic interest” in Bayrock. Sater added, “This is very problematic and could cause damage.”
The documents were released last week, pursuant to an order issued by Southern District Judge Pamela K. Chen, (Second Cir. 10-2905, doc. #259, 262, 266 and 269). Those documents revealed that when Oberlander and Lerner requested permission to speak to a Newsweek reporter, their request was denied (#269).

In an interview with WhoWhatWhy, Lerner identified the “Newsweek” reporter as Barrett, noting that at the time he was working for the Daily Beast, which was Newsweek’s online outlet. Barrett passed away in 2017.

The motion that won the release of the documents was brought by Forbes, which is represented by Jay Ward Brown, a partner at Levine Sullivan Koch & Schultz in Washington, D.C. Forbes’ motion is supported by a group of amici that includes both WhoWhatWhy and the author. Other amici are David Cay Johnston of DCReport, investigative reporter/ lawyer James Henry, BBC, the Dutch tv program Zembla, and The American Interest. The amici group is represented by Henry R. Kaufman, a Manhattan-based First Amendment lawyer, who was previously general counsel to the organization now known as the Media Law Resource Center.
https://whowhatwhy.org/2018/03/20/role- ... l-victory/
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Re: Everything you need to know about Felix Sater

Postby seemslikeadream » Wed Apr 04, 2018 10:53 am

Senate Investigators Interview A Former Trump Business Associate Who Tried To Get Trump A Deal In Moscow
Sater is one of the most mysterious figures in the Trump-Russia investigation, and has spoken previously to Special Counsel Robert Mueller and the House Intelligence Committee.

Posted on April 4, 2018, at 9:06 a.m.
By Emma Loop (BuzzFeed News Reporter) Anthony Cormier (BuzzFeed News Reporter) Jason Leopold (BuzzFeed News Reporter)

The Senate Intelligence Committee is interviewing Felix Sater, a former business associate of President Donald Trump who tried to get him a deal in Moscow, on Wednesday as part of its investigation into Russian election interference.

Sater, spotted entering the committee’s secure office spaces Wednesday morning, declined to comment to reporters.

Spokespeople for the Senate Intelligence Committee did not immediately return a request for comment Wednesday. Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, the vice chairman of the committee, previously told BuzzFeed News that “Mr. Sater's been mentioned a number of times in a prominent fashion,” but declined to comment further.

Sater is one of the most mysterious figures in the Trump-Russia investigation, and has spoken previously to Special Counsel Robert Mueller and the House Intelligence Committee. In a statement to the House, Sater — who has been deeply connected to the Trump Organization — revealed for the first time the extent of his work as a high-level asset to US intelligence and law enforcement agencies. At least six members of Mueller’s team worked for the Department of Justice while Sater produced important details about cybercrimes, al-Qaeda, and North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.

Two subjects will likely be at the top of investigators’ list: a proposed Trump Tower in Moscow and a supposed Ukrainian “peace plan.”

The committee recently asked the Treasury Department for financial information on Sater and his real estate firm, Bayrock Group LLC, which did deals with the Trump Organization in the early 2000s. In a letter to Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network dated Dec. 7, the committee asked for any potential suspicious activity reports and other bank documents on Sater, Bayrock, and other people and businesses. Banks must report to the Treasury transactions that have the characteristics of money laundering or other financial wrongdoing, but the reports themselves are not evidence of a crime — many of the transactions are legal.

It’s unclear whether FinCEN has turned over any documents related to Sater, but it has identified 23 suspicious activity reports associated with his financial transactions, sources say.

Felix Sater heads into an interview with the Senate Intelligence Committee investigators.

Felix Sater heads into an interview with the Senate Intelligence Committee investigators.
Born in Moscow but raised in Brooklyn, Sater worked with the Trump Organization on developments across the globe. In 2015, he sent Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, an email promising to build a tower in Moscow with the support of the Kremlin.

“Our boy can become president of the USA and we can engineer it,” Sater wrote. “I will get all of Putin's team to buy in on this, I will manage this process.”

Sater, in a recent interview with BuzzFeed News, said he didn’t know Putin and was simply trying to close a deal. “If a deal can get done and I could make money and he could look like a statesman, what the fuck is the downside, right?” Sater said.

And, during the early days of the Trump presidency, Sater met with Cohen to discuss a plan that would end the conflict between Ukraine and Russia — and surely would have delighted the Kremlin. Russia, according to this deal, would have sanctions lifted and keep the Crimean peninsula. Sater said he saw the plan as a way to end a crisis that has claimed as many as 10,000 lives.

Sater is one of more than a hundred witnesses the Senate Intelligence Committee — which has taken the lead on congressional investigations into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia — has interviewed since the start of the probe in January 2017. Committee chairman Richard Burr has said the committee is nearing the end of its interviews with witnesses and will next proceed to drafting final reports.
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Re: Everything you need to know about Felix Sater

Postby seemslikeadream » Thu Apr 05, 2018 5:12 pm


Grant Stern

Sater has confirmed the rest of this Russian language interview given just after the 2016 election, and in it, he was blunt:
https://snob.ru/selected/entry/116532

cooperating with the Feds could be extended, and there were benefits.

While nobody knows the whole truth

While nobody knows the whole truth of Sater's claimed involvement with the CIA, we do know that he's trying to sell his #TrumpRussia story to Hollywood now. Here's video.

It's a wise guys movie, not a CIA thriller.
https://twitter.com/grantstern/status/9 ... 6701020161



The Senate just grilled Trump’s Russian mafia-linked partner for seven hours

By Grant Stern April 4, 2018

President Trump’s Russian-mafia linked business partner just testified to the Senate Intelligence Committee which has received dozens of suspicious activity reports (SAR) about their failed lower Manhattan hotel project. Even a single SAR from a bank can uncover a major international money laundering crime.

Former Trump Organization senior advisor Felix Sater was the principal behind Bayrock, a company accused of laundering money for Russian President Vladimir Putin, that built the Trump SoHo Hotel-condominium. He recently settled an eight-year-old racketeering fraud lawsuit over the doomed development, which removed the Trump name and management team just last December.

Today, Sater testified to the Senate Intel Committee, which knows of at least 25 suspicious activity reports, about his deal with Trump which banks say could be considered money laundering transactions. Buzzfeed reports:

It’s unclear whether FinCEN has turned over any documents related to Sater, but it has identified 25 suspicious activity reports associated with his financial transactions and more than a dozen associated with Bayrock, sources say.

The committee recently asked the Treasury Department for financial information on Sater and his real estate firm, Bayrock Group LLC, which did deals with the Trump Organization in the early 2000s. In a letter to Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network dated Dec. 7, the committee asked for any potential suspicious activity reports and other bank documents on Sater, Bayrock, and other people and businesses. Banks must report to the Treasury transactions that have the characteristics of money laundering or other financial wrongdoing, but the reports themselves are not evidence of a crime — many of the transactions are legal.

Buzzfeed has taken an inside track to reporting Felix Sater’s purported exploits, but only has a single on the record source from the FBI to back up his tall tales, and none from the CIA. The value of the information that he provided to the FBI or purportedly the CIA, which warranted the extreme level of special treatment he acquired, is unknown, though we do know that he did lie about receiving no money for his eleven-year stint as a cooperating witness.

Nobody knows exactly what the Senate panel asked Sater in the closed-door session, but one would imagine that either his emails to Trump attorney Michael Cohen claiming to “get Putin on this program and we will get Donald elected,” as well as his secret, back-channel peace plan for Ukraine, would be major topics of concern from Vice Chairman Mark Warner (D-VA).


Just last month, Sater admitted on MSNBC that he and Trump were hoping to obtain financing from the sanctioned, state-owned bank VTB to complete their proposed Moscow City Tower with a shady company owned by a lawyer from the island Cyprus, a notorious offshore Russian money laundering haven.

Whatever the Senate asked of Sater, they ultimately spent seven hours questioning the Soviet-born former Trump Organization senior advisor, whose secretive felony record was just further unsealed by a New York court and whose multi-million dollar deals in Manhattan reeked of fraud
https://washingtonpress.com/2018/04/04/ ... ven-hours/




Grant Stern

Richard Lerner and Fred Oberlander are the dogged lawyers fighting to expose illegal secrecy in the EDNY federal judicial circuit and took this case up to the Supreme Court to get some of it unsealed. Much remains a mystery that they cannot yet fully reveal about Sater and Trump

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Re: Everything you need to know about Felix Sater

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri Apr 06, 2018 2:57 pm

Mueller just scored another huge win as longtime Trump ally turns snitch
BY GRANT STERN
PUBLISHED ON APRIL 6, 2018


McClatchy DC just reported that the Trump Organization’s former senior advisor, a Russian mafia-linked FBI informant, is now cooperating with Special Counsel Mueller’s probe.

Russian-born Felix Sater’s relationship with Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and their links to the President’s international business deals in the former Soviet Union are rapidly becoming a major focus of Mueller’s probe, including subpoenas to compel sworn testimony and produce evidence.

He is a twice-convicted felon, who spent eleven years cooperating with the FBI and spent most of that time, plus the following seven years, working for the Trump Organization formally and informally as a business associate.



Details of Sater’s decades-old cooperation agreement indicate that Mueller’s prosecutors – one of whom, Andrew Weissmann, approved his deal originally – possess an overwhelming amount of leverage to obtain his cooperation, even in today’s case. McClatchy reports:

[Felix] Sater is cooperating with Mueller’s investigation and provided more than six hours of closed-door testimony on Wednesday to the Senate Intelligence Committee, which also focused heavily on the deals involving Cohen, according to multiple people with knowledge of the hearing.

Sater previously provided similar closed-door testimony to the House Intelligence Committee in December 2017.
Felix Sater is also a childhood friend of embattled Trump lawyer Michael Cohen from Brooklyn, with whom he was involved with in both a secret Ukraine peace deal after Trump’s inauguration and in a Moscow Trump Tower deal during the election. But his history with the Trump Organization goes back to the early 1990s.

In the 2000s, Sater ran numerous Trump Tower projects across the country as the master salesman and developer for the Bayrock Company, which ultimately only finished the Trump SoHo Hotel-condominium in lower Manhattan. Donald, Ivanka, Don Jr. and Eric Trump still face criminal liability for concealing Felix Sater’s felony history from lenders while borrowing hundreds of millions to build the Trump SoHo.



New York Attorney Richard Lerner litigated against a civil racketeering and bank fraud case against Felix Sater and Bayrock that ultimately ended in a settlement last month, just days after the hotel removed the Trump name. When asked for comment about Sater’s cooperation agreement with the feds, he said:

“Felix Sater was sentenced on October 23, 2009. Most, if not all cooperation agreements contain a waiver of the statute of limitations for crimes committed up to and during the period of cooperation. Sater, therefore, could still be prosecuted up to at least October 23, 2019 for Financial Institution Fraud.”

“Special Prosecutor Mueller may well have some very powerful leverage over ‘Felix the Rat’.”
Felix Sater just finished a national public relations tour last month, where he lied about his violent criminal history on national television and pretended other journalists that he’s just a snitch for the thrill of it, while court records reveal that he actually stole millions of dollars and got away with it with the full knowledge of Uncle Sam.

Buzzfeed News reports that Sater’s contributions to national security were significant, but couldn’t get an on the record source from the CIA to confirm anything, and only one FBI agent.



Ultimately, Sater’s cooperation could be a key turning point in Mueller’s probe, illuminating Donald Trump’s extensive links to Russian speaking countries, because he was the Trump family’s Moscow tour guide in the mid-2000s, and has a nose for trouble.
https://washingtonpress.com/2018/04/06/ ... r-mueller/
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Re: Everything you need to know about Felix Sater

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri Apr 06, 2018 6:38 pm

It's Official:

Donald Trump's longtime business advisor Felix Sater has turned state's evidence for Special Counsel Mueller in the trumpRussia probe.


Mueller just scored another huge win as longtime Trump ally turns snitch

By Grant Stern April 6, 2018

McClatchy DC just reported that the Trump Organization’s former senior advisor, a Russian mafia-linked FBI informant, is now cooperating with Special Counsel Mueller’s probe.

Russian-born Felix Sater’s relationship with Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and their links to the President’s international business deals in the former Soviet Union are rapidly becoming a major focus of Mueller’s probe, including subpoenas to compel sworn testimony and produce evidence.

He is a twice-convicted felon, who spent eleven years cooperating with the FBI and spent most of that time, plus the following seven years, working for the Trump Organization formally and informally as a business associate.


Details of Sater’s decades-old cooperation agreement indicate that Mueller’s prosecutors – one of whom, Andrew Weissmann, approved his deal originally – possess an overwhelming amount of leverage to obtain his cooperation, even in today’s case. McClatchy reports:

[Felix] Sater is cooperating with Mueller’s investigation and provided more than six hours of closed-door testimony on Wednesday to the Senate Intelligence Committee, which also focused heavily on the deals involving Cohen, according to multiple people with knowledge of the hearing.

Sater previously provided similar closed-door testimony to the House Intelligence Committee in December 2017.

Felix Sater is also a childhood friend of embattled Trump lawyer Michael Cohen from Brooklyn, with whom he was involved with in both a secret Ukraine peace deal after Trump’s inauguration and in a Moscow Trump Tower deal during the election. But his history with the Trump Organization goes back to the early 1990s.

In the 2000s, Sater ran numerous Trump Tower projects across the country as the master salesman and developer for the Bayrock Company, which ultimately only finished the Trump SoHo Hotel-condominium in lower Manhattan. Donald, Ivanka, Don Jr. and Eric Trump still face criminal liability for concealing Felix Sater’s felony history from lenders while borrowing hundreds of millions to build the Trump SoHo.


New York Attorney Richard Lerner litigated against a civil racketeering and bank fraud case against Felix Sater and Bayrock that ultimately ended in a settlement last month, just days after the hotel removed the Trump name. When asked for comment about Sater’s cooperation agreement with the feds, he said:

“Felix Sater was sentenced on October 23, 2009. Most, if not all cooperation agreements contain a waiver of the statute of limitations for crimes committed up to and during the period of cooperation. Sater, therefore, could still be prosecuted up to at least October 23, 2019 for Financial Institution Fraud.”

“Special Prosecutor Mueller may well have some very powerful leverage over ‘Felix the Rat’.”

Felix Sater just finished a national public relations tour last month, where he lied about his violent criminal history on national television and pretended other journalists that he’s just a snitch for the thrill of it, while court records reveal that he actually stole millions of dollars and got away with it with the full knowledge of Uncle Sam.

Buzzfeed News reports that Sater’s contributions to national security were significant, but couldn’t get an on the record source from the CIA to confirm anything, and only one FBI agent.


Ultimately, Sater’s cooperation could be a key turning point in Mueller’s probe, illuminating Donald Trump’s extensive links to Russian speaking countries, because he was the Trump family’s Moscow tour guide in the mid-2000s, and has a nose for trouble.
https://washingtonpress.com/2018/04/06/ ... r-mueller/


Mueller probe tracking down Trump business partners, with Cohen a focus of queries
BY KEVIN G. HALL, BEN WIEDER AND GREG GORDON

April 06, 2018 05:00 AM
Updated 7 hours 3 minutes ago
WASHINGTON
Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators this week questioned an associate of the Trump Organization who was involved in overseas deals with President Donald Trump’s company in recent years.

Armed with subpoenas compelling electronic records and sworn testimony, Mueller’s team showed up unannounced at the home of the business associate, who was a party to multiple transactions connected to Trump’s effort to expand his brand abroad, according to persons familiar with the proceedings.

Investigators were particularly interested in interactions involving Michael D. Cohen, Trump’s longtime personal attorney and a former Trump Organization employee. Among other things, Cohen was involved in business deals secured or sought by the Trump Organization in Georgia, Kazakhstan and Russia.

The move to question business associates of the president adds a significant new element to the Mueller investigation, which began by probing whether the Trump campaign and Russia colluded in an effort to get Trump elected but has branched far beyond that.

It’s unclear how many properties or deals the Mueller team might be looking at; the Trump Organization’s foreign business relationships span the globe from properties in Panama, Brazil and Uruguay to Azerbaijan and Georgia. Trump’s children — Ivanka, Don Jr. and Eric — were parties to talks involving many of the dealings. Generally, the discussions revolved around licensing fees for use of the Trump name.

Prior indictments and guilty pleas secured by the Mueller team to date have focused on campaign personnel such as ex-campaign chief Paul J. Manafort, his aide Richard Gates and former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

The New York Times reported on March 15 that Mueller had subpoenaed unspecified records from the Trump Organization. Days before that, the Washington Post reported that Mueller’s team was looking into a Moscow hotel deal for which Cohen brought to Donald Trump a letter of intent from a Moscow developer during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Cohen left the Trump Organization in January 2017, and has been front-page news of late because of his acknowledgement that he paid $130,000 to porn star Stormy Daniels shortly before the November 2016 elections through a company established for the purpose of buying her silence with a non-disclosure agreement. Daniels has sought to toss out that agreement, appearing last month on a 60 Minutes broadcast to describe her alleged 2006 extramarital affair with then-businessman Trump. Speaking to reporters on Air Force One Thursday, Trump denied knowledge of the payment to Daniels, deferring to Cohen.

“You’ll have to ask Michael Cohen. Michael is my attorney,” Trump said. “You’ll have to ask Michael.”

Cohen and Trump Organization attorney Alan Garten did not respond to requests for comment.

Before the Daniels flap, which includes a defamation suit she brought against him on March 26, Cohen was headline fodder because of revelations that he pursued a hotel deal for Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign.

His partner in that effort was Russian émigré and former Trump Organization associate Felix Sater, whose involvement in the pursuit of a Moscow-area hotel became public last year at a time when n ow-President Trump was insisting that he had no business interests in Russia.

The two men have said they teamed with a Russian group called I.C. Expert Consulting, and Cohen last year provided a detailed letter to congressional investigators about the deal and why it did not come to fruition. Appearing on MSNBC last month, Sater said that the local developer had sought financing from the Russian bank VTB, a big lender in Russia but one sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department in September 2014, with its subsidiaries added to the list the following year.


Sater is cooperating with Mueller’s investigation and provided more than six hours of closed-door testimony on Wednesday to the Senate Intelligence Committee, which also focused heavily on the deals involving Cohen, according to multiple people with knowledge of the hearing. Sater previously provided similar closed-door testimony to the House Intelligence Committee in December 2017.

President Trump has repeatedly said he has no business deals with Russians or Russian companies, and that he had no knowledge of any campaign collusion with Russia. Reports last year about the Moscow hotel served only to raise more questions, however.


McClatchy reported last year that Trump sought to splash his name across a giant glass obelisk-shaped hotel in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, and that he had taken out copyrights on everything from vodka to hotels across the former Soviet empire and even in Iran.

An in-depth investigation by the New Yorker magazine last year spotlighted the Trump Tower Baku in Azerbaijan, where the Trump Organization’s partners on the deal were relatives of a rich government minister whose family had business entanglements with a people tied to Iran’s notorious military unit, the Revolutionary Guards.

Shortly before that report came out, the Trump Organization in December 2016 said it was walking away from a deal to have his name atop a planned hotel, condo and casino development in Batumi, a Black Sea city that leaders of the former Soviet republic of Georgia said would become a regional destination. Trump lawyers originally blamed their Georgia partners before changing their tune to say the Trump empire was stepping away from foreign entanglements with Trump about to take office.


This week’s subpoenas by the Mueller team are in line with a lengthening list of potential crimes that have surfaced during his investigation of Russia’s election meddling. That became clearer in a court filing on Monday in Mueller’s related prosecution of former Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort.

In a memo last May, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein gave Mueller authority to investigate, with his approval, unrelated crimes that surface during his inquiry. A Monday court filing by Mueller included an Aug. 2, 2017, memo in which Rosenstein listed allegations now within the scope Mueller's investigative authority. Except for Manafort's alleged financial crimes related to his Ukrainian political consulting, the remainder of the one-page list of suspected criminal activity by other figures was blacked out.

Michael Zeldin, a former top official of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, said Mueller could have grounds to investigate Trump’s overseas dealings to see whether those transactions led to relationships with Russians and election-related crimes.

Mueller also is searching for witnesses in his investigation of possible collusion. When he finds solid documentary evidence of crimes involving figures being questioned, those cases can be easy to prosecute, Zeldin said.

“And incidental to that, it might provide you leverage” to cut a deal in which those individuals become cooperating witnesses in the core investigation, he said.

Peter Stone contributed in Washington
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Re: Everything you need to know about Felix Sater

Postby seemslikeadream » Sat May 05, 2018 9:57 am

Anthony Cormier of BuzzFeed tweeted this: “Just saw Felix Sater chatting with Rudy Giuliani outside Trump International.”



Trump associate received more than $21M in Kazakh oligarchs' alleged money laundering scheme

Christopher Brennan
Trump associate received more than $21M in Kazakh oligarchs' alleged money laundering scheme
Trump associate Felix Sater received more than $21 million connected to an alleged money laundering scheme, according to documents seen by the Daily News. (ABC News)
A businessman whose name has resurfaced in the Trump-Russia investigation once received more than $21 million connected to an alleged money laundering scheme involving Kazakh oligarchs, according to court documents.

Felix Sater, a 52-year-old from Brooklyn, has previously done business with the Trump Organization and was part of a push to build a Trump Tower in Moscow during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Sater has a long history of deals in the former Soviet Union, including allegedly working with a pair of Kazakh oligarchs, Mukhtar Ablyazov and Viktor Khrapunov, who are accused of embezzling around $10 billion from a bank in their home country and stashing it in real estate around the world through a labyrinth of shell companies.

Some of that money allegedly flowed into President Trump's business dealings, which have received new attention amid investigations into possible Russian meddling in the 2016 election.


Beyond potential collusion between Trump's circle and Moscow, Special Counsel Robert Mueller has also been urged by some lawmakers to "follow the money" exchanged between those connected to the Trump Organization and those in the former Soviet Union.

Mueller is investigating Trump business dealings including the Trump SoHo project where Sater worked and the Khrapunov family bought condominiums, Bloomberg reported last summer.

Sater has been linked to a $30 million Kazakh deal to buy debt in Tri-County Mall, a suburban Cincinnati shopping center, and then sell it at auction to a Chinese-linked company called APIC that paid $45 million in 2013.

Previous reports have said that Sater was sued for allegedly withholding nearly all of that sale money — between $43 million and $45 million, a source says — from those involved in one of the alleged money laundering companies, Triadou, before a settlement in December 2013.

The terms of that settlement have been secret, though court filings obtained by the Daily News state that Sater received "the majority of the funds he had withheld" in exchange for "broad releases" for companies involved.

That would mean he pocketed at least $21.5 million.

The outlet DCReport.org had previously reported that Sater and a partner, Daniel Ridloff, received "roughly $20 million" in the deal but did not source the claim.

Donald Trump, Tevfik Arif and Felix Sater attend the Trump SoHo launch party in September 2007.
Donald Trump, Tevfik Arif and Felix Sater attend the Trump SoHo launch party in September 2007. (Mark Von Holden/WireImage)
The filing claims that Sater kept the funds, and it was not immediately clear if the money was split.

Sater, when reached by The News last week, said he could not comment on the deal because of strict confidentiality agreements.

Legal teams representing both Triadou and Khrapunov, the former mayor of Almaty, said they could not comment on the money received by Sater, who is not a party in the lawsuit. Ablyazov, accused of stealing money from his position as head of BTA Bank, is representing himself in court, and attempts to reach him were unsuccessful.

"BTA Bank and the City of Almaty are committed to identifying and recovering all of the money stolen from them by Mukhtar Ablyazov and his criminal associates, including the tens of millions of dollars that was laundered into the United States," said Matthew L. Schwartz, a former federal prosecutor who now represents the alleged victims with Boies Schiller & Flexner LLP.

Kazakh authorities have sued Ablyazov and Khrapunov, whose daughter and son married each other and are also allegedly involved in the money laundering scheme, around the world since they fled their home country.

The Central Asian country has won multiple judgments, including one from a U.K. court that said the system of companies taking money from BTA Bank was "fraud on an epic scale."

Khrapunov, the former mayor of Almaty, is currently living in Switzerland, while Ablyazov — who fled a prison sentence for contempt of court in Britain — is currently living in France and remains a free man after a court agreed with his argument that his extradition and prosecution was politically motivated by his opposition to Kazakhstan's president.

Lawyers for the city of Almaty, Kazakhstan, and BTA Bank claimed in a Manhattan federal court lawsuit against the two men that Sater wrote in a October 2013 letter that he was told the money flowing into the Tri-County deal was ultimately controlled by Ablyazov, which his side has disputed.

Sater's alleged knowledge that he was doing business with Ablyazov came after press reports were already available about investigations into the money laundering scheme involving both oligarchs.

"The terms of any resolution regarding Mr. Sater's legitimate compensation are confidential. There is absolutely no evidence that Mr. Sater knew whether or not Mr. Ablyazov was involved in any wrongdoing. Mr. Sater never worked with or for Ablyazov," Sater's lawyer Robert Wolf said in a statement to The News.

Viktor Khrapunov is the former mayor of Almaty, Kazakhstan.
Viktor Khrapunov is the former mayor of Almaty, Kazakhstan. (Interpol)
Sater is now working with an "international investigation" against the oligarchs, the Financial Times reported last year.

Beyond the Tri-County deal, the Kazakh government says the dirty money that made it to the U.S. was used in other projects, including a $40 million investment in the Chetrit Group's Flatotel project in Midtown, a health kiosk company, a building in Syracuse and three condos in the Trump SoHo project.

Trump partnered with Sater and the developer Bayrock for that luxury tower, though the project experienced problems after revelations about Sater's past, which includes a conviction for stabbing a man with the stem of a margarita glass and a role in a mafia-linked stock scheme.

Sater pleaded guilty in the 1998 stock scheme case and struck a deal where he cooperated with the U.S. government and gathered intelligence — including information on the mafia and phone numbers related to Osama bin Laden.

A member of the team that brought that case against Sater and signed off on the deal, longtime federal prosecutor Andrew Weissman, is now a member of Mueller's team.

Sater — despite having known the Khrapunov family since the mid-2000s and saying in 2011 and 2012 that he worked for the Trump Organization — told The News that he was in no way involved in the alleged money launderers choosing to buy homes at the Trump property in 2013, which he said were for personal use rather than investments.

"I don't help people move money around — real estate consulting is what I do. I don't get involved in the money part of it," Sater said, adding that he learned of the purchases after the fact.

After the businessman spoke to the Senate Intelligence Committee earlier this month, sources told Buzzfeed that the Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network had identified 25 suspicious-activity reports for his financial transactions, with more than a dozen tied to Bayrock.

FinCen, as per its policy, told The News that it "would never confirm, or deny, the existence of any potential investigation."

Sater and Trump have been photographed together for Trump SoHo, and Sater previously maintained an office in Trump Tower.

Mukhtar Ablyazov has been accused of embezzling billions from a bank in Kazakhstan.
Mukhtar Ablyazov has been accused of embezzling billions from a bank in Kazakhstan. (Jeffrey Schaeffer/AP)
He has said that he spoke to Trump "hundreds of times," though the future President had also tried to create distance from his controversial business colleague, even walking out of a 2013 interview with the BBC when asked about Sater's alleged mafia connections.

Trump said in a deposition the same year that he wouldn't recognize Sater if he was in the same room.

Trump Organization's ties to alleged dirty Kazakh money extended beyond apartments in Manhattan, with a proposed condo development in Batumi, a seaside town in the post-Soviet Republic of Georgia.

Michael Cohen, a childhood friend of Sater's and Trump's attorney, began discussions about licensing Trump's name to the project in 2010 with the Silk Road Group, which received most of its financing from BTA Bank, where Ablyazov is accused of making massive loans to companies he controlled.

The bank accused Silk Road Group of being in on the scheme, and the parties signed a reported $50 million settlement, though Cohen told the New Yorker last year that he did not know about BTA's involvement in the Batumi tower.

Investigators in New York raided Cohen's office last week, though it is unclear if documents surrounding the Georgia deal were among those taken.

Sater said that he had no involvement in the Georgia project and did not know about it until he read the New Yorker article.

Trump signed a licensing deal for the luxury building in 2011 and visited the country in 2012, though the Trump Organization and Silk Road announced in January 2017 that the venture was off.

The Trump Organization did not respond to questions about what due diligence it did on the Georgia project, which also occurred after news of the alleged money laundering scandal involving BTA Bank and Ablyazov was widely known.
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Re: Everything you need to know about Felix Sater

Postby seemslikeadream » Thu Mar 28, 2019 9:56 am

dropped = filed

Olga Lautman


A lawsuit dropped in NY involving Felix Sater laundering Kazakhstan money for the Khrapunov’s. The lawsuit mentions Trump Soho being used and a new detail of Trump personally meeting Ilyas Khrapunov set up by Sater. Why is our media silent?


Image

Olga Lautman Retweeted Olga Lautman
Sorry dropped=filed and here is a copy and thread

https://www.documentcloud.org/documents ... Sater.html
Sater, Arif, Trump, Bayrock need to be exposed bec stolen money was funneled from Kazakhstan to Trump properties w very senior Russian mafia figures involved including Mashkevich. This global mafia syndicate that…
Show this thread


In 2007 Trump files trademarks in Kazakhstan for hotels and real estate while Sater (also working for Trump) is laundering money for the khrapunov’s. This is the year after Sater takes Trumps children to Russia where Ivanka spins on Putin’s chair


In 2011 Michael Cohen-Silk Road-Giorgi Rtskhiladze were working on Trump Tower in Astana and traveled to Kazakhstan to meet w then PM Massimov. A letter of intent was signed but the deal never came to fruition. Around the time the Khrapunov’s are meeting w Sater in Trump Tower


The Kazakhstan project design was done by John Fotiadis who worked with Silk Road Group (partially funded by Kazakhstan’s BTA bank). Btw Fotiadis who worked with Trump on a few projects worked for Manafort’s boss for a few years Rinat Akhmetov around 2005


If this lawsuit even mentioned Hillary the media would be all over it but with Trump it’s silence and was mentioned for a minute. The hypocrisy is stunning and no one wants to dig into these potential crimes


If that’s not enough Giuliani was also involved with the Khrapunov’s.
Olga Lautman added,
Cristina Maza

Rudy Giuliani was named in a criminal complaint in the Netherlands last month because his former law firm set up a company that helped Kazakh fugitives Leila and Viktor Khrapunov launder money (my latest) https://www.newsweek.com/giuliani-myste ... es-1215349

Olga Lautman Retweeted Olga Lautman
Re Tevfik Arif Trump’s other Bayrock partner

@olgaNYC1211
Yep! And he ties directly to mafia, Russian intel, Turkey, and Trump’s partner Sapir who was involved w Prevezon (leviev). Veselnitskaya at the Trump Tower meet represented Prevezon and worked for the Katsyv family. Leviev was involved in the NYT Kushner deal.

Olga Lautman Retweeted Cristina Maza
Great article on BTA and the Sater lawsuit

Cristina Maza


NEW: Felix Sater's lawyer tells me that Kazakhstan's BTA Bank sued his client in retaliation. Sater’s company Litco sued BTA last October for failing to pay $10 million for allegedly helping BTA recover over $50 million in assets stolen by Mukhtar Ablyazov

BTA Bank's lawyers claim that Litco never disclosed that it was owned by Felix Sater:



FORMER TRUMP ASSOCIATE FELIX SATER ACCUSED OF LAUNDERING MILLIONS THROUGH REAL ESTATE PROJECTS LINKED TO PRESIDENT
Image



Felix Sater, a Russian-born real estate developer who allegedly helped President Donald Trump pursue a Trump Tower project in Moscow, is no stranger to legal battles.

While in his 20s, the now 53-year-old developer spent a year in prison for stabbing a man in the face with a broken margarita glass during a bar fight. He was also recently sued by singer Mariah Carey’s former manager for allegedly hacking into her computers and stealing her personal data while staying as a guest in her home.

Now, a new lawsuit filed in the Southern District of New York by a bank from the Central Asian country of Kazakhstan alleges that Sater helped launder millions of dollars stolen from the bank and funnel them into real estate projects, some of which may have been linked to President Donald Trump.

The lawsuit centers on BTA Bank’s decade-long battle to recuperate billions of dollars allegedly stolen by its former chairman, the fugitive Mukhtar Ablyazov. The Kazakh bank claims that Ablyazov stole over $4 billion dollars before fleeing to Russia and later Europe, and it has pursued numerous lawsuits against him in a wide range of jurisdictions.


Donald Trump takes a call during 2005 visit to Colorado to speak at the Bixpo business convention. His business associate Felix Sater stands to his left, in a maroon tie.
CYRUS MCCRIMMON/THE DENVER POST/GETTY IMAGES

Ablyazov has said that he is a victim of political persecution, and he has funded political opposition groups in his native Kazakhstan that face fierce crackdowns from the authoritarian regime there. But courts in the United Kingdom have found that Ablyazov is guilty of swindling BTA.

The bank also claims that Ablyazov conspired with the former mayor of the Kazakh city of Almaty, Viktor Khrapunov, and his wife Leila and son Ilyas Khrapunov, to launder the stolen funds. The Khrapunov family is now living in Switzerland where they are avoiding extradition to Kazakhstan.

Meanwhile, BTA’s fight to recuperate the stolen funds has reached President Trump's inner circle. It was mentioned during the public Congressional testimony last month of Trump’s longtime lawyer Michael Cohen. The embattled lawyer, who is going to jail for financial crimes related to his work for Trump, noted that BTA had paid him to help relocate the bank's assets.

“Michael Cohen was recommended to BTA Bank in 2017 as a person who had access to the best legal resources, and was hired by BTA to assemble a winning team," Matthew Schwartz, a partner at Boies Schiller Flexner LLP and former federal prosecutor who represents BTA Bank and the City of Almaty, told Newsweek. "Instead, Michael Cohen did absolutely nothing of value, and BTA quickly tore up its agreement with him. Since that time, BTA has cooperated fully with all law enforcement investigations of Michael Cohen," Schwartz added.

Sater, another Trump associate and a longtime business partner of the Khrapunov family, has also been drawn into the fight between BTA and Ablyazov. The dispute culminated on Monday, when BTA sued Sater, accused him of money laundering and noted that Trump had met with the young Khrapunov.

"Sater and Ilyas would meet often in New York to discuss details of their laundering schemes," read court documents submitted Monday in the Southern District of New York. "Among other places, these meetings between Ilyas and Sater would occur in Sater’s offices. Sater not only met with Ilyas Khrapunov in Trump Tower to discuss laundering the stolen funds, but he also personally arranged meetings between Ilyas and Donald J. Trump to discuss possible investments."

Trump has previously claimed that he barely knows Sater. But Cohen, who worked closely with Trump for decades, testified that Sater was instrumental in pursuing a Trump Tower Moscow deal during the 2016 presidential campaign, and that the businessman had suggested that Trump offer Russian President Vladimir Putin a penthouse in the tower as a marketing scheme to increase the value of the property. Sater also had an office in Trump Tower for years, making it even more unlikely that Trump would be unfamiliar with the developer.

Monday's lawsuit alleges that Sater traveled to Russia around 2013 at Ilyas Khrapunov's request in order to look for potential locations to invest the money stolen by Ablyazov. "Sater conspired with Ilyas to invest the stolen funds to develop a Trump Tower project in Russia," the court documents read.

That same year, Sater’s former development company Bayrock helped Ilyas Khrapunov purchase three condos in Trump Tower SoHo and quickly resell the properties. It is unclear whether Trump knew about the origin of the funds at the time, but financial experts have long claimed that the money was likely laundered through Trump Tower.

Sater told Newsweek that he was not involved in Khrapunov’s purchase of Trump Tower condos, and that he had already left Bayrock before the purchase was complete.

Monday’s lawsuit, however, argued that Sater conspired with his former clients to launder money through a variety of real estate projects, including five in the U.S., and avoid asset freezing orders against Ablyazov and the Khrapunov family.

“Felix Sater is a notorious New York ‘businessman’ and two-time felon who, along with wanted criminals Mukhtar Ablyazov and Ilyas Khrapunov, and others known and unknown, participated in an international criminal conspiracy to launder and conceal at least $440 million that was stolen from the Plaintiffs in Kazakhstan, and to evade lawful asset freezing and receivership orders issued by the courts of the United Kingdom,” the lawsuit filed Monday reads.

“Sater helped Ablyazov, Khrapunov, and others launder tens of millions of dollars in those stolen funds into the United States, where they were invested in real estate and used to procure immigration status for Khrapunov’s sister,” the court documents continue. “Sater also tried to help them stash some of the stolen money overseas, including in real estate in Moscow. Sater then turned on his criminal confederates and stole at least $40 million of the money he had laundered into the United States for his own personal benefit and the benefit of his associate, Daniel Ridloff.”

Sater's attorney Robert Wolf, however, argued that there was more to the story. He said the lawsuit against his client is revenge for ongoing arbitration between BTA and a company owned by Sater. Like Michael Cohen, Sater's company Litco was hired by BTA to recuperate the funds stolen by Ablyazov.

"This is a cheap and desperate retaliation lawsuit by BTA and Almaty based on false allegations," Wolf told Newsweek in an email. "Mr. Sater’s asset recovery company, Litco, sued them last October for failing to pay $10 million owed for assistance recovering over $50 million in assets. Their concealment from the court of that lawsuit against them and their concealment of their prior agreement with Litco will result in a prompt dismissal of this case."

Sater told Newsweek that his company Litco was set up to assist BTA with asset recovery. The bank has been accused of paying Sater, a witness in their case against the Khrapunovs, $2.5 million. BTA's lawyer, meanwhile, claims that Litco never disclosed that it was controlled by Sater.

“As usual, Mukhtar Ablyazov, Ilyas Khrapunov and the other defendants are now trying to distract attention from their own crimes with sideshows," Schwartz told Newsweek. "The fact remains that they have no defense to the fraud and money laundering charges that have been leveled against them. But to be crystal clear, neither BTA Bank nor the City of Almaty did anything remotely wrong, and neither of them had any idea about Litco’s true owner.”

Documents viewed by Newsweek demonstrate that the arbitration case between the two parties is ongoing.

Another Trump ally, the president’s current lawyer and former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, has also been accused of helping the Khrapunov family launder the money stolen from Kazakhstan. Giuliani’s former law firm had an office in the Central Asian country. It also helped set up a subsidiary of Bayrock in the Netherlands through which Ablyazov and the Khrapunovs allegedly funneled some of the stolen funds.

Both Giuliani and Sater were named in a criminal complaint filed in the Netherlands in October last year asking the government to investigate the company for money laundering.

Sater was set to testify before the House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday about his role pursuing the Trump Tower Moscow deal, but the hearing was canceled suddenly on Monday.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said that the testimony was postponed so that Congress can focus on obtaining information about the report issued Friday by special counsel Robert Mueller, who was investigating potential collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government to influence the 2016 presidential election. The report has not been made public or been given to Congress, but Attorney General William Barr sent Congress a short letter summarizing its findings.

“In light of the cursory letter from the Attorney General, and our need to understand Special Counsel Mueller’s areas of inquiry and evidence his office uncovered, we are working in parallel with other Committees to bring in senior officials from the DOJ, FBI and SCO to ensure that our Committee is fully and currently informed about the SCO’s investigation, including all counterintelligence information,” a House Intelligence Committee spokesman told Newsweek. “With the focus on those efforts this week, we are postponing Mr. Sater’s open interview.”https://www.newsweek.com/donald-trump-felix-sater-tower-1375485


We now know that BTA hired both Felix Sater and Michael Cohen to help it recover funds stolen by Ablyazov. The bank claims that it didn't know it was hiring Sater. An arbitration case is still ongoing:



Ex123


Replying to @olgaNYC1211
Arif Tevfik, another partner of Donny and Ivanka in Trump Soho, is a convicted child trafficker.

Such are the friends of that crime family.


Olga Lautman


Yep! And he ties directly to mafia, Russian intel, Turkey, and Trump’s partner Sapir who was involved w Prevezon (leviev). Veselnitskaya at the Trump Tower meet represented Prevezon and worked for the Katsyv family. Leviev was involved in the NYT Kushner deal.




@olgaNYC1211
https://www.documentcloud.org/documents ... Sater.html
Sater, Arif, Trump, Bayrock need to be exposed bec stolen money was funneled from Kazakhstan to Trump properties w very senior Russian mafia figures involved including Mashkevich. This global mafia syndicate that…

https://twitter.com/olgaNYC1211/status/ ... 3192460288
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Re: Everything you need to know about Felix Sater

Postby seemslikeadream » Sat Aug 24, 2019 9:12 am

Unsealed Filings Detail Felix Sater’s Work as an Intelligence Asset, With Significant Gaps
Johnny Dwyer
August 23 2019, 5:10 p.m.
Felix Sater was among the most closely held secrets for federal prosecutors and investigators in New York for nearly a decade. Two documents unsealed today following a request by The Intercept reveal in greater detail the government’s account of his history as an informant and intelligence asset. However, redactions in today’s release point to ongoing interests in the government maintaining secrecy around a man who has found himself at the center of investigations into the involvement of the Trump organization and campaign with Russian business elites and the Kremlin.

Sater, a former associate of President Donald Trump and longtime confidential source for the Justice Department, describes himself as a Zelig-like figure who had historical ties to both the president and to members of Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel team. His name appeared more than 100 times in the Mueller report, mostly surrounding his involvement in the failed project to bring a Trump Tower to Moscow. Last month, Sater appeared in a closed session of the House Intelligence Committee, after which he accused Glenn Simpson, the founder of Fusion GPS (the firm that did opposition research on Trump in 2016) of perjury for linking Sater to the matters investigated around the president.

Related
Did Felix Sater’s 20 Years as an Informant Help Land Him at the Center of the Trump-Russia Story?
The filings released today by a federal court in Brooklyn detail the representations the government made on behalf of Sater before his 2009 sentencing for racketeering and stock fraud charges that dated back to 1998. In the government’s submission to the judge, called a 5K1 letter, federal prosecutors argued for a reduced sentence, describing Sater as an “exemplary cooperator” who provided information to the CIA even before he returned to the U.S. to face criminal charges in the Eastern District of New York.
Image
IMG_0264-1566592540
Document: Eastern District of New York
In an interview with The Intercept, Sater described his first meeting with the FBI in 1998 as tense — agents raised the threat that his children could end up in foster care. But, as the newly released filings explain, he soon forged a working relationship with U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies that took him to into Russian military facilities, Taliban-era Afghanistan and on two undercover operations in Cyprus and Turkey. The prosecutors’ letter affirms, as has been previously reported, that he passed along information about Osama Bin Laden’s whereabouts after the 9/11 attacks. According to the letter, Sater also reported on “American business interests of Russian oligarchs and the ties these individuals had to organized crime figures.”

Significant portions of the documents remain redacted — for reasons unclear even to Sater. He told The Intercept that much of the redacted material concerns two investigations where he helped the FBI in an operation against “Russian hackers who attacked U.S. financial institutions” in Cyprus and Turkey. In both cases, the government brought indictments based on Sater’s overseas work — including one against Vladmir Zdorovenin, who was convicted in Manhattan in 2013 and sentenced to three years.
Image
IMG_0263-1566592548
Document: Eastern District of New York
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York declined to comment.

In the end, Sater did not serve time for the 1998 racketeering and stock fraud case. During and after the period of his cooperation, Sater had been targeted with multiple civil lawsuits, including one complaint that alleges he participated in “an international criminal conspiracy to launder and conceal at least $440 million” from BTA Bank, a Kazakh bank, some of which was funneled into Trump properties. That case, City of Almaty, Kazakhstan v. Sater, is ongoing.
https://theintercept.com/2019/08/23/uns ... cant-gaps/




Wendy Siegelman

federal judge releases a 2009 letter from DOJ/EDNY that includes more details about Felix Sater's cooperation w/DOJ, by @JasonLeopold @a_cormier_

Here's the 2009 DOJ letter about Sater, from link in article
Image
https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/ja ... -bin-laden
https://assets.documentcloud.org/docume ... letter.pdf

From 2009 EDNY letter

"From 2004 through 2008 Sater was central to the investigation and identification of key individuals in two separate international money laundering and access device fraud schemes, both of which originated in Russia"
Image
https://assets.documentcloud.org/docume ... letter.pdf
https://twitter.com/WendySiegelman/stat ... 5882098689


These New Documents Confirm Trump Associate Felix Sater Helped Track Osama Bin Laden

Documents newly released by a federal judge confirm BuzzFeed News’ reporting that Felix Sater was a key US asset in major terror and Mafia cases.

Jason Leopold

Win Mcnamee / Getty Images
Documents newly released by a federal judge confirm BuzzFeed News’ reporting that Felix Sater was a key US asset in major terror and Mafia cases.

For years, Felix Sater — an associate of President Donald Trump’s who played a key role in the investigation into Russian election interference — told people that he was building “Trump Towers by day and hunting bin Laden by night” on covert missions around the world on behalf of the US government. The stories were so wild that many dismissed them as obvious fiction.

But a secret government document, released today by a federal judge, confirms that Sater acted for years as a secret asset of the US government and provided intelligence that “included, but was not limited to, (a) Osama bin Laden’s whereabouts following September 11, 2001; (b) the internal structuring and the financial capabilities of al-Qaeda; (c) the whereabouts of Taliban leader Mullah Omar; (d) ground reports on who was killed by United States air-strikes; (e) the details of an assassination plot against President Bush; and (f) information on North Korea’s nuclear capabilities.”

Much of the government’s account about Sater’s remarkable double life was previously reported by BuzzFeed News in 2018.

The partially redacted government document, referred to as a 5K1 letter in legal parlance, said that Sater went undercover and was instrumental in weakening the Mafia’s presence on Wall Street. He also “played a crucial role” in helping the US government dismantle money laundering operations in Russia, Cyprus, Turkey, and elsewhere. And, the letter continued, “Sater also provided information about the identities of organized crime leaders in Russia and the roles they occupied in the organized crime hierarchy. He provided information about the American business interests of Russian oligarchs and the ties these individuals had to organized crime figures.”

Federal prosecutors wrote the 10-page letter in 2009 to help Sater get a lenient sentence after his conviction in a 1998 racketeering case. The letter was released on Friday afternoon by US District Court Judge I. Leo Glasser in response to a lawsuit by The Intercept.

“For approximately ten years, Sater continuously worked with prosecutors and law enforcement agents to provide information crucial to the conviction of over twenty different individuals, including those responsible for committing massive financial fraud, members of La Cosa Nostra organized crime families and international cyber-criminals,” wrote Todd Kaminsky, a former assistant US attorney. “Additionally, Sater provided the United States intelligence community with highly sensitive information in an effort to help the government combat terrorists and rogue states.”

His cooperation “was of a depth and breadth rarely seen,” Kaminsky wrote.

In an interview with BuzzFeed News, Sater said he is happy the government revealed the extent of his cooperation.

“Given the events of the last three years, I'm happy that people can now judge me for the bad that I've done and the good that I've done,” he said. “I just hope that 20 years of service to protect America adds a little to the plus column.”

The letter also details Sater’s crimes. It describes how, in his mid-twenties, Sater and three associates swindled investors out of $40 million and then “carefully laundered” it through offshore accounts with the help of organized crime figures.

In September 1998, eight months after the New York Police Department discovered documents in a storage locker that detailed the stock fraud as well as his role in it, Sater, who had been overseas, surrendered to the FBI. By that time, the letter said, he was already unofficially working for the US government and collecting intelligence from sources in Afghanistan.

“In an effort to build a reserve of good will for the imminent prosecution he was to face in America, Sater contacted United States intelligence officers overseas and offered to provide them with information concerning Afghanistan’s Northern Alliance,” the letter said. “During the spring and summer of 1998, Sater traveled to Central Asia where he gathered and passed on information to United States sources about the Northern Alliance’s desire to resell Stinger missiles to the United States government as well as information about the Taliban and Osama bin Laden, among other things. Sater contacted the FBI during this period and kept agents apprised of his activities overseas.”

Sater pleaded guilty to racketeering charges in 1998 and entered into a cooperation agreement with the US government that was signed by Andrew Weissmann, then an assistant US attorney who nearly two decades later would become a key member of special counsel Robert Mueller’s prosecution team.

In addition to the letter, Glasser also unsealed a redacted version of a13-page sentencing memorandum Sater’s then defense attorney, Leslie Caldwell, filed with the court arguing for leniency contains even more details about Sater’s work for the US government. She wrote that Sater provided the FBI with information on Bin Laden's location after the 9/11 attacks as well as “a list of Al Qaeda members, names and locations of people who handled security for Bin Laden, secret meetings that Bin Laden planned to attend, a list of Sudanese banks where Bin Laden held cash reserves, and the identity of companies that were controlled by Bin Laden in various parts of the world.”

Throughout her career, Caldwell at points worked with both Weissman, the prosecutor who approved Sater's cooperation deal, when both worked for the Department of Justice, and was also once appointed to a job at the US Attorney’s office in California by Robert Mueller when he was the US Attorney for the Northern District of California. Sater hired her in the mid 2000s when she was working in private practice.

The FBI declined to comment about Sater's work for the bureau.

Sater emerged in 2017 as a high-profile figure in Mueller’s Trump–Russia investigation after emails between him and Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen showing a years-long effort to build a Trump Tower in Moscow and to “get Donald elected” in the process were leaked and became public.

BuzzFeed News previously obtained documents that showed the negotiations between Sater and Cohen to try to break ground on a Trump Tower project in Moscow continued through at least June 2016, by which time Trump was already the Republican frontrunner, contradicting Cohen’s sworn congressional testimony that the discussions ended in January 2016, weeks before the start of the Iowa caucuses.

Sater was interviewed multiple times by Mueller’s team and a grand jury, and he testified three times before House and Senate intelligence committee investigators about the Trump Tower Moscow plans. He is mentioned by name more than 100 times in Mueller’s final report on Russian interference in the 2016 election and President Trump's campaign.

After he was identified as a central figure in the Trump–Russia probe, reporters dug into Sater’s past. Many media outlets reported in general terms on the work he had done for the US government on high-stakes national security and terrorism cases, but his account was often treated with a measure of skepticism.

The government makes clear that Sater was not exaggerating about his extensive cooperation with US agencies, which began before his involvement in real estate development with the Trump Organization and continued, according to Sater and law enforcement sources, until at least late 2017.

The US attorneys said Sater worked with several high-ranking Russian military and former KGB officers to gather intelligence about Afghanistan and the Middle East and threats to the US. One of these military officers, BuzzFeed News reported last year, was also involved in Sater and Cohen’s efforts to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.

The letter said Sater provided “specific, detailed information to the Central Intelligence Agency (‘CIA’), FBI and other agencies” in 1998, which included “what were believed to be bin Laden’s satellite telephone numbers and information about who was supplying arms to bin Laden.”

The letter said people in the intelligence community “with knowledge of the information Sater provided” told the US government it “was taken very seriously and was carefully analyzed.” However, some intelligence officials have publicly questioned the value of the information Sater provided. But a half dozen current and former intelligence sources who are familiar with Sater’s case and worked on the al-Qaeda threat before and after 9/11 told BuzzFeed News much of the intelligence he provided was “actionable.” One intelligence source said the information Sater shared about the terrorist organization was “very useful” to “ongoing US operations” in Afghanistan immediately after 9/11.

Sater continued to gather intelligence on al-Qaeda and bin Laden after the 9/11 attacks, working with a precious stones dealer who had his own intelligence contacts inside the Taliban and Northern Alliance. The FBI purchased a satellite phone that Sater shipped to this person "so the two could remain in constant contact."

“Sater went above and beyond what is expected of most cooperators and placed himself in great jeopardy in so doing,” the letter said. “Throughout the near ten-year period that Sater cooperated with the government, he worked continuously with a number of agents who supervised his activities. Without exception, every one of these agents has told the government that Sater was an exemplary cooperator who worked diligently to further the aims of the missions to which he was assigned.”

At his sentencing in 2009, Judge Glasser told Sater: “For 11 years, I would suspect you had gone to bed every night or every other night sleeping a little restlessly and wondering what your sentence is going to be. So, in effect, there has been a sentence which already has been imposed.”

Sater did not serve any jail time. For the $40 million stock scheme, he was fined $25,000.
https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/ja ... -bin-laden

[/quote]


This also confirms that Felix Sater was working on Trump Organization real estate projects while he was working with FBI on money laundering cases in Turkey, Cyprus and Russia
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