According to the attorney for a Russian oligarch with extensive ties to former Donald Trump campaign manager Paul Manfort, his client is close to being extradited to the U.S. from Austria, reports the Chicago Tribune.
“Imminent,” and “at risk,” is how attorney Dan Webb described the extradition of his client, Dmitry Firtash, who is currently free on $174 million bond overseas.
Firtash has battling extradition to the U.S. since his 2014 arrest in Vienna after being accused of masterminding a titanium-mining racket involving Boeing. According to Firtash and his lawyer, he claims he was targeted at the time by the Obama administration as punishment for Putin’s annexation of Crimea.
Firtash’s attorney admitted that fears that his client might “hop on a private plane and head over to Moscow, or to some other country where we can’t extradite him,” in the extradition is approved.
Complicating Firtash’s return to Chicago to face charges based on federal wiretaps, is his connection to Manafort, who is also under investigation by the FBI.
According to USA Today, Firtash has been connected to the Russian mob and has business dealings with Manfort dating back to 2008.
According to Manafort, he “never had a business relationship” with Firtash.
“There was one occasion where an opportunity was explored. Nothing transpired and no business relationship was ever implemented,” he explained.