Quantcast
Connect with us

Russian businessmen who helped Giuliani contact Ukrainians donated over $300K to pro-Trump PAC: report

Published

on

Two Russian businessmen made a six-figure contribution to a prominent pro-Trump political group during the summer of last year. The men also happened to serve as intermediaries between top Ukrainian officials and Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, the Daily Beast reports.

Since the funding source for the contribution remains a mystery, the Daily Beast looked into the real estate deals of the businessmen, identified as Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman. While the two worked to uncover alleged evidence of Biden-related corruption for Giuliani, they were also running a company called Global Energy Producers, which sought to capitalize on Trump’s energy policies. Speaking to the Daily Beast, a Russian energy executive said the pair bragged about their connections to the Trump administration and the benefits that would come as a result.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Daily Beast found that the pair’s largest donation to the pro-Trump PAC, over $300,000, didn’t come from Global Energy Producers; it came from a company called Aaron Investments I, LLC — a discrepancy that prompted a watchdog group to accuse the businessmen of violating campaign finance laws. But thanks to financial disclosures from a lawsuit that was filed against Parnas by a disgruntled former business partner, it was revealed that two days before Aaron Investments made the donation to the pro-Trump PAC, Florida real estate attorney Russel Jacobs wired the company $1.2 million — just 5 days after the real estate company, Seafront Properties, which also happens to be owned by Fruman’s brother, reported a “major transaction” involving a Miami condominium.

From the Daily Beast:

The entity that had lent that money back in 2014 wasn’t a bank. It was a New Jersey company called Grelex LLC. That company is run by Alex Fleyschmakher, a man who just last week was indicted by federal prosecutors on a kickback conspiracy charge for his alleged role in a scheme to bribe doctors who steered patients to a pharmacy with which he was financially involved.

Public records indicate that Steven Fruman had been in business with Fleyschmakher for some time. Both men, as well as Grelex, are listed as principles on a New York liquor license application filed in 2014 for a Manhattan Italian joint called Mamo Restaurant.

Five days after paying off Grelex, on the same day that Aaron Investments received its cash infusion from Jacobs, Seafront reported taking out a new $3 million loan on the same condo. Once again, the money came not from a bank, but from three individual lenders. Just over a year later, Seafront paid off that mortgage in full. That transaction, like the repayment of the Grelex loan, listed a lawyer at Jacobs’ firm as the attorney of record.

Then, last month, Steven Fruman signed over legal control of the condo to his brother Igor. On the same day, Seafront sold the property for about $4.1 million to a Florida company called FVV23 LLC.

While the Daily Beast’s report doesn’t definitively connect the Russian businessmen to the latest Trump/Giuliani scandal, it does claim to give a “jarring insight into the global cast of characters seeking to work with Trump and capitalize off his presidency.”

“The degree to which he and Parnas allegedly pitched GEP investors on their Trumpworld pull harkens back to the sort of political favoritism and corruption that pervades the former Soviet bloc, where connections to those in power are frequently a business’s most critical asset,” the Daily Beast’s Lachlan Markay writes.

Featured image via Shutterstock 

ADVERTISEMENT


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Things are so bad for Republicans the GOP had to send money to Texas

Published

on

In 2016, then-anti-Trump Republican Sen. Linsey Graham proclaimed, "If we nominate Trump, we will get destroyed.......and we will deserve it." It seems his prediction is coming closer to fruition.

Financial reporting reveals that the Republican Party was forced to send $1.3 million to ruby-red Texas as the election nears.

It was something spotted by ProPublica developer and ex-reporter Derek Willis Sunday.

"That's never happened before," he tweeted.

He noted that the Texas GOP raised $3.3 million in August, but nearly half of that came from their national parents.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

What the London ‘Blitz’ reveals about how much pain and tragedy people can handle in 2020

Published

on

It's hard to imagine how 2020 could possibly get worse. "If we lose Betty White," a friend said on a drive to the Supreme Court to lay flowers.

So many Americans have lost friends or family members to COVID-19. Thousands of Americans survived the virus only to desperately needed organ transplants and forever will struggle to breathe the way they once did. Others are still suffering without smell or taste even three months after having the virus. Millions of Americans are out of work. Debt is stacking up for those trying to survive in the COVID economy. A lack of health insurance can mean hospitalizations from the virus are putting people into bankruptcy.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Stop trying to convince people you’re right — it will never persuade anyone: expert

Published

on

MSNBC host Joshua Johnson noted that this year has been full of strife, with Americans having a lot to stand up about. Whether the slaying of unarmed Black men and police brutality, or healthcare, and the coronavirus, Americans are lining up to protest.

Johnson asked if people try to start tough conversations, how do they keep it productive, and when it's time to give up. In her book, We Need to Talk, Celest Headlee explains tools that people can use to have productive conversations about tough issues that help move the needle.

"Keep in mind that a protest isn't a conversation, right?" she first began. "That's a different kind of communication. The first thing is that our goal in conversations is not always a productive one. In other words, oftentimes, we go into these conversations hoping to change somebody's mind or convince them that they are wrong. You're just never going to accomplish that. There's no evidence. We haven't been able to -- through years and years of research we haven't been able to find evidence that over a conversation somebody said, 'You're right, I was completely wrong.' You've convinced me. So, we have to stop trying to do that. We have to find a new purpose for those conversations."

Continue Reading
 
 
You need honest news coverage.  Help us deliver it.  Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free. LEARN MORE