Manafort was one degree of separation away from ‘the most dangerous mobster in the world’
Paul Manafort Donald Trump's campaign manager on the floor of the Quicken Arena talking to reporters prior to the start of the Republican National Convention in 2016. (Shutterstock)

The indictment brought against Paul Manafort has revealed a new link between the former Trump campaign chairman and Russian mobsters.


The Daily Beast's Betsy Woodruff reports that the link comes through Manafort's use of Cyprus-based Lucicle Consultants Limited to wire millions of dollars into the United States. This is relevant because Lucicle also received millions of dollars from Ukrainian parliamentarian Ivan Fursin, who has close ties to Semion Mogilevich, a Russian mobster whom Woodruff notes is often called "the most dangerous mobster in the world."

While all the sources of money that Manafort wired through Lucicle aren't precisely known, Woodruff explains that at least some of it seems to have come from Fursin, as the Ukrainian politician is tied to an offshore entity called Mistaro Ventures that the New York Times earlier this year reported "transferred millions to Lucicle in February 2012 shortly before Lucicle made the $9.9 million loan to Jesand L.L.C., a Delaware company that Mr. Manafort previously used to buy real estate in New York."

The bottom line, explains retired IRS criminal investigator Martin Shiel to Woodruff, is that Mueller's indictment this week "strongly indicates the existence of a previously unknown relationship between an alleged Russian organized crime leader and Mr. Manafort."