According to a report from the Daily Beast's "Pay Dirt" investigative unit, a Super PAC affiliated with President Donald Trump has some explaining to do about a $375,000 donation that was wrongly attributed to one company -- but wire transfers tell a completely different story.
As the Beast notes, "The super PAC America First Action reported receiving a $325,000 contribution last year from a company called Global Energy Producers. But records released in federal court this week indicate that contribution came from an entirely different company," adding that the discrepancy was pointed out by the Campaign Legal Center which labeled it a violation of federal campaign-finance laws.
Tracing the donation back, the money actually came from Aaron Investments I LLC, which is run by GEP head Lev Parnas and his wife.
According to the CLC, the evidence "demonstrates that the super PAC accepted a contribution made via wire transfer from Aaron Investments I LLC, and knowingly—and falsely—attributed the contribution to another person.”But it gets murkier than that.
As the Beast reports, "The wire-transfer records also provide some clues on where the money used for that contribution originated. Those records were heavily redacted in court filings, but done so in a way that allowed the redactions to be easily removed. The full copies of those records show the Aaron Investments account at issue had received less than $56,000 in incoming transfers in the year before its America First donation."
"Two days before that donation, Aaron Investments received a $1.26 million wire transfer from a Florida real-estate attorney named Russell Jacobs," the Beast's Lachlan Markay reports, before adding, "Publicly available information indicates Jacobs’ areas of expertise include real-estate deals that require navigating international money-laundering rules."
With Jacobs issuing a statement saying, "I’m not aware of what you are speaking about without further investigation,” Markay writes, "The wire-transfer records suggest Jacobs was simply acting as a pass-through for another entity, possibly a separate client. Absent additional information, it’s impossible to know who was on the other side of that transaction with Aaron Investments."
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