Federal prosecutors on Friday alleged that Samuel Patten, a business associate of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, used a shady foreign bank account to funnel money to President Donald Trump’s inauguration committee on behalf of a Kremlin-linked Ukrainian oligarch.
CNN’s Shimon Prokupecz, reporting on Patten’s arraignment hearing, writes on Twitter that prosecutors in the case are claiming Patten “sought tickets to Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration on behalf of a prominent Ukrainian oligarch.”
What makes this more intriguing is the way that the purchase was made: According to Prokupecz, prosecutors allege that Patten himself acted as a “straw purchaser” who funneled the Ukrainian oligarch’s money through a bank account in Cyprus to Trump’s inauguration committee.
Prosecutors say Samuel Patten sought tickets to Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration on behalf of a prominent Ukrainian oligarch. Patten acted as a “straw purchaser,” funneling the Ukrainian’s money secretly to the inauguration committee through a Cypriot bank account.
— Shimon Prokupecz (@ShimonPro) August 31, 2018
Prosecutors on Friday charged Patten with allegedly failing to register as a foreign agent despite doing lobbying work on behalf of a Kremlin-friendly Ukrainian political party.
Earlier this year, it was revealed that special counsel Robert Mueller is looking into whether Kremlin allies made illegal contributions to Trump’s inauguration committee, which raised a record $106.7 million after his election.