Trump Media under investigation for Russian money laundering: report
Donald Trump speaks in Manchester, New Hampshire, on April 12, 2014. (

Federal prosecutors are investigating Donald Trump's social media company for possible money laundering involving Russians.

Trump Media, which owns the Truth Social platform, first came under investigation by federal authorities in New York over its potential merger with the blank-check company Digital World, and prosecutors started looking at two loans totaling $8 million wired through the Caribbean to Trump Media from two Kremlin-linked entities, reported The Guardian.

The first $2 million payment came when Trump Media was on the brink of collapse in December 2021, when the merger was delayed by a Securities and Exchange Commission inquiry, but Digital World's chief executive Patrick Orlando got the loan wired from Paxum Bank registered in Dominica, according to financial records obtained by the newspaper.

"The wire transfer identified Paxum Bank as the beneficial owner, although the promissory note identified an entity called ES Family Trust as the lender," The Guardian reported. "Two months later, an unexpected second $6 million payment arrived in Trump Media’s account from ES Family Trust, the transfer receipt showed."

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Orlando declined each time to provide details about the true identity of the lenders or the origin of the money, according to Trump Media co-founder-turned-whistleblower Will Wilkerson, and an individual named Angel Pacheco appears to have simultaneously been a trustee of ES Family Trust and a director of Paxum Bank.

"The Russian connection, as being examined by prosecutors in the US attorney’s office for the southern district of New York, centers on a part-owner of Paxum Bank – an individual named Anton Postolnikov, who appears to be a relation of Putin ally Aleksandr Smirnov," The Guardian reported.

Smirnov, who oversees the Russian maritime company Rosmorport, served in the Central Office of the Russian government until 2017 and was previously first deputy minister of justice of Russia until 2014, and he served in the executive office of the president for most of Vladimir Putin's first two terms.

A spokesman for the US attorney’s office for the southern district of New York declined to comment on the investigation, as did outside counsel for Trump Media and representatives for Rosmorport and Paxum Bank.