Thug, Mob, Rogue: Trump Organization’s Own Description of Its Panama Hotel

While Trump and his son-in-law (and a number of his cabinet members) have clearly been profiting personally from Trump’s presidency (see my NYT op-ed on Jared’s woes), thus far their pursuit of self-interest hasn’t caused any international incidents (moving the US embassy to Jerusalem has come closest).

The scuffle between the Trump organization and the majority owner of the Panama City Trump hotel might just change that.

The problems go back aways (I’ll lay out some of the timeline below). But the short version is that the majority owner of the property, Orestes Fintiklis, got the other owners to vote to fire the Trump Organization in October, claiming the diminished brand and (importantly) a bad sales strategy is part of why the property is at less than 30% occupancy. The Trump Organization (screaming RICO) tried to force the matter into arbitration in December. And Fintiklis has now sued in SDNY to prevent that.

Things started getting crazy a week ago Thursday, when Fintiklis tried to fire the Trump employees, then cut off power, and then got the Panamanian government to side with him and arrest a Trump employed security guard. Significantly, the two sides are fighting over the control room and Fintiklis alleges that Trump employees are shredding documents.

Two people familiar with Fintiklis’s account said that, after his arrival, hotel employees barricaded office doors with furniture, and they added that documents were shredded. The two people said Trump Organization employees — including an executive who flew down from New York City — also blocked access to a control room that houses servers and surveillance-camera monitors.

This room, the two people said, is shared by the hotel operation and the managers of the residential side of the building, which is no longer operated by the Trump Organization.

I find that interesting given the Reuters report, from last November, describing how Ivanka put a Brazilian money launderer with ties to Russian organized crime, Alexandre Ventura Nogueira, in charge of many of the advanced sales in the project.

A Reuters investigation into the financing of the Trump Ocean Club, in conjunction with the American broadcaster NBC News, found Nogueira was responsible for between one-third and one-half of advance sales for the project. It also found he did business with a Colombian who was later convicted of money laundering and is now in detention in the United States; a Russian investor in the Trump project who was jailed in Israel in the 1990s for kidnap and threats to kill; and a Ukrainian investor who was arrested for alleged people-smuggling while working with Nogueira and later convicted by a Kiev court.

Three years after getting involved in the Trump Ocean Club, Nogueira was arrested by Panamanian authorities on charges of fraud and forgery, unrelated to the Trump project. Released on $1.4 million bail, he later fled the country.

He left behind a trail of people who claim he cheated them, including over apartments in the Trump project, resulting in at least four criminal cases that eight years later have still to be judged.


When first approached by Reuters, Nogueira declined to answer questions. Writing on October 4, he said in an email: “Anything I would say could also damage a lot of important and powerful people. I am not sure I should do that.”

Later, Nogueira agreed to meet. In a lengthy interview, he described his contacts with the Trump family and his role in the Ocean Club project. He said he only learned after the Ocean Club project was almost complete that some of his partners and investors in the Trump project were criminals, including some with what he described as connections to the “Russian mafia.” He said he had not knowingly laundered any illicit money through the Trump project, although he did say he had laundered cash later in other schemes for corrupt Panamanian officials.

The role Nogueira played is similar to the one Sergey Millian played for a Trump property in LA, which basically amounts to artificially inflating the sales so as to be able to get the loans for the underlying property.

Two Democrats on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Ranking Member Eliot Engel and Norma Torres, have decided to take this opportunity to ask the Trump Organization if it knew the Panama facility was being used as a money laundering vehicle.

With the possibility that Fintiklis will gain control of the facility before any records of money laundering get shredded, I want to look at the timeline the Trump Organization lays out in their statement on the fracas.

Just before the 2016 election, Fintiklis, who is Cypriot though has a residence in Florida, bought into a majority share in the hotel from the original owners. The Trump Organization could have blocked that sale but, no, they could not, because otherwise the hotel would go under.

In October 2016, the original developer of the Hotel, Newland International Properties Corp., notified Trump Hotels that it was actively negotiating a bulk sale of its remaining 202 units to a company controlled by Mr. Fintiklis. Because the Co-Ownership Regulations for the Hotel preclude any one person from owning more than ten units without Trump Hotels’ consent, Trump Hotels could have blocked the sale as a matter of right. Concerned, however, about the future of the Hotel and the fate of the Hotel’s highly dedicated and loyal staff, Trump Hotels agreed to allow the sale to proceed on one condition: that Mr. Fintiklis agree that he would not in any way attempt to interfere with Trump’s management of the Hotel or take any other steps to terminate its management agreement.

So weeks after Trump became President, Fintiklis agreed to the terms of the sale and eventually finalized the purchase in August.

In February 2017, Mr. Fintiklis agreed, in writing, to these terms and, in August 2017, closed on the purchase of the units, becoming the owner of 202 of the 369 hotel units.

At that time, last August, Fintiklis spoke in rosy terms of the deal, including the hotel operator (that is, Trump).

We are excited to welcome such an iconic property to our investment portfolio and we look forward towards working with the local team, the hotel operator and the Panama community, to establish the Property as the premier hotel in the country and the entire region.

The Trump Organization accuses Fintiklis of orchestrating a conspiracy to remove Trump Hotels from the property.

Unfortunately, within weeks of the closing, it became apparent to Trump Hotels that Mr. Fintiklis had other motives. Rather than abide by the clear terms of the agreement he had signed, Mr. Fintiklis had been conspiring with others to remove Trump Hotels as manager and fire most, if not all, of its loyal and dedicated employees. Looking back, it is now apparent that Mr. Fintiklis, in flagrant violation of the commitments he had made, never had any intention of keeping his word and had been plotting a takeover and termination of Trump Hotels all along.

On October 14, 2017, Mr. Fintiklis furthered his fraudulent scheme, calling a meeting of the hotel condominium under the false pretense of a “meet and greet” and used that moment to hold unlawful votes and declare Trump Hotels in default of the management agreement. Within minutes of the meeting concluding Mr. Fintiklis sent Trump Hotels a default notice and filed for arbitration to terminate the management agreement. Clearly, Mr. Fintiklis had been concocting and planning this scheme for months.

The Trump folks, too, emphasize that part of this fight is over the facility’s computer system.

Together, Mr. Fintiklis and Mr. Lundgren, over the past several days, have resorted to thug-like, mob style tactics, repeatedly attempting to force their way into Trump Hotels’ offices, infiltrate and disrupt its computer systems and threatening and intimidating any employee of the Hotel that resisted.

Now, the Trump Organization made less than a million dollars off management fees for this facility in the last year or so.

In his most recent personal financial disclosure, Trump said his company had received $810,000 in management fees over the preceding 15 ½ months.

They are not getting rich off this facility, certainly not rich enough to sustain the legal fight already brewing over retaining the contract.

These people are all douchebags and the brawling side show is fairly amusing. But it does seem that Fintiklis bought into something far more than a mostly empty hotel, and he’s now using it as leverage against the Trump family business.

The fight over the Trump Panama hotel seems to be as much about the fight over records that may show whether Ivanka knew she was involved in money laundering with Russian mobsters and Colombia narcotics traffickers as it is over who gets to run the mostly empty hotel.

Which is a reminder that it’s not just Robert Mueller who has Trump by the nuts.

63 replies
  1. matt says:

    Do you think that the details of these crooked dealings (among others) will come to light in the Mueller investigation?

    Anything good in that NYT story about Anastasia Vashukevich? That would be another interesting scandal.

  2. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Trump is not getting rich from publicly acknowledged management fees from this Panamanian hotel and condo project.

    But, yea, what’s on the servers is probably more than sales, rental and customer information. It could be worth a lot, and worth a lot of heads. Hard to imagine a better bolt hole for servers loaded with tax haven and money laundering info.

    The Trump organization claims about “conspiracy” are priceless. Similar sorts of persuasion, arm-twisting and blindsiding must happen daily in every board room, conference room, law office, governor’s mansion, legislature, and large bureaucracy in America. To call such machinations “illegal conspiracies” would bring American business and bureaucracy to a halt.

    As for Fintiklis, it does seem probable that he was interested in more than a simple real estate play. Even as a real estate play, changing property managers and marketing and sales efforts would have been essential. Otherwise, a nearly empty building was going to stay nearly empty.

    • Bob Conyers says:

      It could be something that looks just enough like small monthly payments for local official graft that it triggers suspicion of violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

      At this point, there ought to be a lot of paranoia about anything that gives Mueller another reason to go through the books, uncover more shell corporation data, and question accountants.

  3. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The role Nogueira played is similar to the one Sergey Millian played for a Trump property in LA, which basically amounts to artificially inflating the sales so as to be able to get the loans for the underlying property.

    That might lead to bank fraud of the kind that Mr. Mueller finds objectionable.


    • pseudonymous in nc says:

      This was Baumgartner’s beat for Fusion GPS, as Simpson described to HPSCI:

      So in the case of Panama where the evidence is the most vivid, there’s — the buyers were fake. I mean, they were real people. They just never paid.

      • emptywheel says:

        Yet another Fusion detail it would have been more useful to have, and before the election, than the pee tape dossier.

  4. Desider says:

    I don’t know – Trump regularly lies, and we don’t know whether the Panama property’s worth anything and how much Trump’s skimming off the top. I doubt $800K is enough to stay interested.

  5. Willis Warren says:

    Part of me thinks the Russians promised trump something they didn’t deliver (proof of cheating by Hillary), instead they delivered the Presidency.  For fuck’s sake, this man is the worst thing that’s ever happened to America.  We’re only scratching the surface.



  6. SpaceLifeForm says:

    Key to remember:

    No one involved with Trump can even spell

    Due Diligence

    It is not in their vocabulary.

    What they can think about is Money.

    End of story.

    • bmaz says:

      And what? Can you ever learn to participate in good faith as opposed to being a cryptic crank?

      If not, then what is the value of your participation? Explain yourself.

      • SpaceLifeForm says:

        If you read the various stories regarding the Trump-branded properties, there is a consistent thread:

        The capital outlay to get the project going never comes from Trump group.

        Trump group is just providing their name and management services.

        In each case, there are always foreigners that are ready to pony up money to get a condo or apartment in the newly developed property.

        Trump group never does any Due Diligence on either the initial investors nor those buying a condo in the property.

        If Trump group had a clue, they would ask themselves as to why so much [suspect] money is chasing the Trump name.

        It certainly cannot be due to excellent property management skills.

  7. earlofhuntingdon says:

    As has been said here before, Putin needn’t aim for any specific objective.  Chaos is as happy an outcome for him as is changing any specific American policy in Russia’s behavior.  Imagine how different Vlad would be if he faced a talented, seasoned, competent chief executive instead of Trump.

    Trump may have delivered many things to Putin.  The biggest one is chaos.  He delivers it every day.  It makes the US less effective and partially dismantles its alliances, especially in Europe.  Trump’s failure to respond to Russian interference in the state-based voting process – combined with highly partisan interference from Kobach & Co – will generate chaos and lack of trust for some time.

    Separately, the value of any property in Panama depends on its utility.  Fair market value is one of many types.  It is common for money launderers to use real estate to park profits and legalize them on resale.  The London property market is famous for this, particularly since it’s a market that often also generates large capital gains.  Another common tactic is to perform multiple buy-sell transactions between related parties.

    No one knows yet for what purposes this property in Panama is being used.  It would be remarkable if it was only intended for owner-occupier condos and the renting of hotel rooms.  The fight over the server room suggests it wasn’t.

    • SpaceLifeForm says:

      “Trump’s failure to respond to Russian interference”

      Even Putin agrees. He says US should go thru ‘proper channels’.

      But you know that will not happen at this time for two reasons.

      1. Trump will not force the issue because that would create attention on the issue that he does not want

      2. Mueller will not force the issue because of potential leak problem

  8. SpaceLifeForm says:

    I hear Vancouver is interesting at this time of year.

    The Heat Is On!

    US counterintelligence officials are scrutinizing one of Ivanka Trump’s international business deals, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

    The FBI has been looking into the negotiations and financing surrounding Trump International Hotel and Tower in Vancouver, according to a US official and a former US official.

    The development — a 616-foot beacon dotting the Vancouver skyline and featuring a trademarked Ivanka Trump spa — opened in February 2017, just after Trump took office.

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      Vancouver is a Gold Mountain for money from Asia seeking safe haven via ‘real’ property.  I’m told that many Asians have little confidence in their stock exchanges; this might be expected of people whose families experienced turmoil throughout the 20th century, and who have family memories of confiscation, as well as revolutions.  Consequently, they invest much of their money in ‘tangibles’: gold and real property.  Canada’s perceived political stability and legal system are added attractions.

      The FBI would be remiss not to look into this project.  I earnestly wish them every success in unraveling the financial threads.

      • bmaz says:

        Which  is why Vancouver has become as expensive, if not more so, than San Francisco. It is seriously insane there. I love that city, but it is nuts.

        • Trip says:

          NYC, the same. I recall reading about how difficult it was to determine actual ownership of expensive properties because of the ubiquitous use of LLCs, etc., which are not illegal. This was before the Trump Inc Criminal Enterprise Regime. Lots and lots of foreign investors.

          Which is an issue for another time, but in the US, we have been selling off everything for years. We give ownership of our products in overseas factories, manufacturers, etc., but at home, we sell off real estate. In some countries, there are curbs or limitations on how much can get auctioned off to non citizens. It’s not the immigrants taking over the country, it’s the rich investors, as you know. We won’t need a war to be invaded and taken over. It’s already happening with money, the most powerful weapon.



    • TheraP says:

      As I recall Ivanka and Jared were photographed in the Canadian Rockies during Passover last year:

      So close to Vancouver!  Who else might have traveled in that direction at that time?  What else might these travelers have done while in the neighborhood of Vancouver?  (many stories at the time suggested how much this might have cost, but these grifters maybe had a “business” excuse so they could write off the expense?)

      I suspect Mueller knows a great deal about this visit, Vancouver business deals, and Panama too.

  9. orionATL says:

    ivanka trump involved with possible money laundering? that just doesn’t make sense to me. she has to be more personally cautious than that; she has children. is she blind to the law? did someone put her up to this?

    i wonder the same about her husband. why so utterly oblivious to the law? have these two been doing this stuff in nycity and jersey and pennsylvania and washington for so long and getting away with it without even a slap on the wrist that, like some remote island animals, they had lost their fear? theirs is insane behavior – almost literally.

    • orionATL says:

      i have had little or nothing to say about jared kushner. first because i think we get nowhere making fun of the president or his family when the damage is being done by savy republican operatives, and second because i thought kushner’s action were largely self-destructive.

      boy was i wrong! really wrong.

      this article mentioned by rugger9 ([email protected]:32 in the “nbc’s broken…” article and cited by [email protected]:18p) :

      makes it abundantly clear that kushner has been running a shakedown racket.

      yes, a shakedown racket out of the whitehouse for god’s sake!

      further, this was anything but merely self-destructive because it involved punishing a major american allie, qatar, thru the willing acquiesce of two other american allies who were bitter enemies of the “more progressive” quatar, saudi arabia and the uar.

      so, apparently without qualm or backward glance, kushner, in a self-dealing failed shakedown (of qatar), created a major state-on-conflict in the middle east among american allies.

      this may not be criminal in the literal sense, but it certainly is in the colloquial sense.

      and trump rubber stamped the whole disaster.

      • JD12 says:

        It’s amazing the Qatar story hasn’t blown up. Kushner fails to negotiate a half billion dollar bailout from them, then just a couple months later goes along with a blockade. Qatar is an ally, maybe not to him, but to the country, most of the war is run there. Tillerson and Mattis weren’t aware of what he was doing, and the emails used to justify it were fake.

        There could be a benign reason for it, the Saudis did a good job seducing him and POTUS, but the optics are terrible. But he also undermined the UN vote on Israeli settlements, which is also something he benefits from. Then there was the Chinese visas. I guess when you get desperate to save a skyscraper you can’t afford optics aren’t a concern. But the sense of entitlement is astounding.

    • orionATL says:

      two thing is seem, seem clear from the new yorker article:

      1) the trump family, father and daughter, seem, seem to be terrible business persons (even taxicab drivers can’t find their way to the hotel entrance) . the family members have a practice of making what seem, seem to be incomprehensibly bad business deals – new jersey casinos, panama, azerbaijan. why? what are they really gaining?

      2) ivanka trump is in this up to her pretty little ears. what a coldhearted little rogue. and what an idiot; she’s going to need a nanny for sure for all 3-5 years she’s in the pen.

      • pseudonymous in nc says:

        It’s a high-scale check-kiting operation, and when you burn or exhaust all the vaguely reputable lenders, you’re left with… what’s left. It’s not about profit, it’s about liquidity.

        If there was ever a plan for 2016, it was to lose the election, set up a TV network as a new source of liquidity, and avoid prosecution by claiming it would be a political witch hunt.

      • Bruce Olsen says:

        Are you familiar with the plot line of “The Producers”?

        Baku was selected precisely to maximize the chances of failure. Makes it easy to launder money.

  10. wayoutwest says:

    Has anyone else noticed that the witch-hunters have shifted to targeting the women around Trump? Trump’s boys have witthstood their trials by fire so the WH’s are frustrated and seeking softer targets.They put on a nasty display of trickery and intimidation in their Hope Hicks inquisition but she managed to stare them down.

    The Trump Co people in Panama may have acted as agents selling these properties but the contracts would be held by the owners with Trump’s people possibly having copies. These funds for purchase of these properties would have come through a bank transfer and the bank is the party responsible for the provenance of the money not the seller who recieves it.

    • orionATL says:

      where were you, you tendentious, hypocritical asshat of a troll, when clinton was being savaged by your boys?

      oh i know, you were one of those boys.

      and now you piously weep and moan. you could give a rat’s ass about how women in power are treated.

    • SpaceLifeForm says:

      Trump group not sellers.

      Do not assume buyers negotiated with sellers via a bank. I.E., do not assume there are bank records.

      Do not think of traditional mortgage.

      Now, kickbacks, that is a different story.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        This is Panama, a home for recycling money.  Cash is king, as is the use of anonymous cut-outs and special purpose vehicles such as blind trusts, various kinds of partnerships, and companies organized in anonymity jurisdictions, including Gibraltar, the Channel Islands, certain South Pacific island nations, the Caymans, BVI, Wyoming, Delaware, Nevada.  Using several tiers of them is common. The options are many.

        • SpaceLifeForm says:

          Thank you. Was just trying to point out to wayoutwest that things that have been happening for years are not simply obvious.

    • Trip says:

      so the WH’s are frustrated and seeking softer targets.

      Who are “the WH’s”?

      ...Hope Hicks inquisition but she managed to stare them down.

      “Stare them down” is a euphemism for “Cut and Run” now?

  11. Anne says:

    It’s very perfect that ivanka could get swept up in ConFraudUS directly. The sad part that I try not to think about is that Trump continues to be “successful” in his voters minds, so if everyone goes to jail except him, FraudUS may have zero impact on his voters. Then we are faced with the spector of his getting through the electoral college game again and he gets another four years.
    Basically, how do we make the results of the Mueller findings matter to the trump people, and Mitch Mconnell for that matter? Trump voters continually vote against their own interests, so foreign policy (ie. not enforcing the russian sanctions), is just another thing that does not matter to them.

    • Bruce Olsen says:

      Some Trump voters will see the light. Those that don’t will need to be overwhelmed at the ballot box.

  12. Avattoir says:

    Trump on Trade Tariffs got me thinking about steel & aluminum.

    1. U.S. industries import steel & aluminum from a broad array of countries, but most of it from just a few. Here are the 7 largest sources for foreign-produced steel imported into the U.S. in 2016:

    Canada 16%; Brazil 13; SKorea 10; Mexico 9; RF 9; Turkey 7; Japan 5.

    2. Of those seven, Russia regularly has the largest annual steel production by country in excess of domestic demand.

    One big problem seems to be that one third of RF’s steel production is low grade crap steel, produced in some of more provincial areas of the RF (e.g. Siberia), and there’s insufficient capitalization to replace outdated technological processes, resulting in produce that lags seriously behind the competition for the top dollar markets in quality steel (U.S., E.U., and China & Transpacific Asia).

    And even Russia’s glut of “flat” (unfinished, average to lower quality) steel encounters market resistance not just in the top but in B quality markets due in part to Putin’s foreign policies.


    3. Something like the same picture holds also with aluminum, except (AFAICT) even more so.


    4. What Russia needs, to overcome its problem with being pretty much forced to keep on producing so much crappy steel and crappy aluminum, is recapitalizaton.

    And such is FAR easier to achieve if there were in place a big ass long-term bilateral trade deal with a long-time former enemy, with soft violins & ice melting in hopes of fully requited bromance.

    • TheraP says:


      For a few years we did a lot of long camping trips. Most of them in Canada. (Thankfully when Mr. TheraP was well enough to do so.) On one of these trips we drove north – way north! – along the north shore of the St. Lawrence Seaway in Quebec.

      Quebec has a huge amount of cheap hydroelectric power. And to manufacture aluminum, we learned, a huge amount of electricity is necessary.

      At nearly the tippy top of where the Quebec road ended (at the time) we came upon a pretty large, small city. Directly across from an Island – from which, in the nighttime there was a glow of light – giving the impression of Mordor or Dante’s Inferno. It was a gigantic Aluminum Factory! And the stench was, for me, almost unbearable! Even across the sea from the island.

      The ore for the manufacture of aluminum there comes by sea from Brazil. Because, apparently, it’s cheaper to ship the ore from Brazil and make use of cheap Quebec electricity.

      And there we have two countries who will yell bloody murder about the Madman’s proposed tariff on Aluminum.

    • Kathleen says:

      Yesterday (Friday March 2nd) MSNBC Velshi and Ruhle (my new favorite MSNBC program) put up graphs having China steel exports into U.S. coming in  at 4th place.   I believe they had China aluminum exports into U.S. coming in at 5th place.

      Canada coming in the number one exporter into U.S. for both steel and aluminum.   I will readily admit that my understanding of trade deals is not elevated by any means.  So I will ask as manufacturing jobs  in steel, aluminum etc were being exported elsewhere starting from my vantage in the mid 60’s (I grew up in Dayton Ohio) sounds like some of the jobs went to Canada.  We sure do not hear much about that.  Is that the case?

      All I know is that  in the mid 60;s I started hearing my WWII, teamster father  William R Galt repeatedly say “both parties are selling the American worker down the pike.”  I heard him say this decade after decade up until the day he died four years ago (he was way ready to go)

      Sounds like Canada, Brazil etc certainly are concerned with the potential loss of jobs or hold over the both industries.  What is truly so wrong with Trump possibly trying to increase those industries in the U.S., again?

      As a Sanders supporter I went to a Trump rally near Dayton in the summer of 2016.  I held a sign saying “I am a Sanders supporter  and I want to talk with you” or something like that.  Had great conversations with Trump supporters (clearly they are not going to tell me if they are sexist or racist) many who liked what Bernie was saying and his voting record too.  Many were former GM and Delphi worker.  Alcoa too,   Ok Ok I know people say “those jobs are never coming back”  Why not?

    • Trip says:

      On Russian steel being made into US steel, in NMLK plants, within the US:

      First import of Russian steel arrives at new Paulsboro port
      Bob Miller, president and CEO of NLMK, said that NLMK steel will be bringing in 1.5 million slabs of steel to the port each year.
      “We plan to expand and bring up to 2 million slabs,” he said.
      “What we have in this ship is raw material,” he added. “Our 1,100 American workers will take and turn into real American steel,” he added.

      5 things to know about the Russian steel that’s coming into N.J.
      Who is NLMK, the Russian steelmaker?
      NMLK Group is a steel manufacturer headquartered in Russia. The company mines and makes the steel, where it is then sent to customers in Russia, North America and Europe to be manufactured…Where do they operate in the United States? NLMK has two plants in the United States: NLMK Pennsylvania in Farrell, Pa., and NLMK Indiana in Portage.

      Maybe no tariffs if it is considered “raw material” and “American” steel?

  13. Kathleen says:

    EW “thus far their pursuit for self interest hasn’t caused any international incidents (moving the U.S. interest has come the closest).

    So how would you categorize Kushner’s willingness to go along with the Qatar blockade? Not sure how deep his involvement is in this. Although have read that this was soon after a loan from some source in Qatar was NOT available to Kushner

    Sure sounds like Ivanka is more than willing to do business with thugs too.

    No whispers about Donald Jr as of late. Wonder if the silence is getting to him?

  14. Bjorn Jensen says:

    Hiding in Shade, Living in Plain Sight:

    As the Mueller enquiry appears to be closing in on with perhaps tangible evidence of corruption within the current administration , it comes as no surprise that the
    ” family ” are being investigated. 
    ” Don KFC combover Trump” has sailed close to the wind, brushed up close  with  the Koncrete  Kings of Queens and the  Bosses of Boardwalk while blood buddying with the nefarious Roy Cohen.

    The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree

    Donald Trump, the deals and the mafia dons

    Ivanka and Donnie J:

    How Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump, Jr., Avoided a Criminal Indictment:

    (October 4th 2017)

    Baby face Kushner: 

    Jared Kushner firm ordered to identify investors in Baltimore properties: 

    (January 26th 2018),amp.html

    Jared Kushner firm asks judge to return tenant lawsuit to Baltimore court, keeping investors’ identities secret: 

    (February 9th 2018),amp.html

    Kushner apartments charge improper fees, tenants allege in lawsuit

    September 27th, 2017,amp.html

    Jared Kushner’s firm seeks arrest of Maryland tenants to collect debt

    August 19th 2017,amp.html

    Kushner Companies no longer seeking $150M in EB-5 for Jersey City project

    Daddy Kushner, convicted felon , still hustling and gaming the system: 
    Because “Babyface” is in the White (pure as the driven snow) House, perhaps? 

    January 22, 2018

    …. Like father like son – “Babyface” is a quick learner and they don’t teach this stuff at Harvard…

    Kushner tapped program meant for job-starved areas to build a luxury skyscraper

    June1st, 2017

    Jared Kushner, slum lord? Baltimore tenants describe maggots in a carpet and RAW SEWAGE in a kitchen SINK – while Kushner’s company viciously sued a terminally ill woman for rent while she was in a hospice: 

    May 23rd, 2017

    Bribe Cases, a Jared Kushner Partner and Potential Conflicts:

    (NY Times April 26th 2017)

    How was this guy even admitted through the pearly gates of Pennsylvania Avenue stayed as long as he has and without proper security clearance? 

    When I first discovered Empty Wheel I posted links to the excellent two part Dutch Documentary, The Dubious Friends of Donald Trump  ( by Zembla an investigative Dutch television programme). 
    I suggest a viewing  especially in the context of the latest unfolding revelation emanating from the scandal ridden Trump

    The latest Zembla documentary  or Part 3, reporters  from Zembla in partnership with Mcclatchy,  (Kevin Hall) along with OCCRP (Organized Crime and Corruption Project, Aubrey Belford, Chris Benevento AND Lejla Sarcevic ) reveal through new interviews, examinations of court records from Cyprus, the Netherlands  to Ukraine, Kazakhstan and the U.S. new information into this Trump web of corruption in addition to what was investigated in Parts 1 & 2. 
    Part 3 follows directly afterward within the same link. 

    Parts 1 & 2: The Dubious Friends of Donald Trump 
    ( Part 3 follows directly after)

    They are in it up to their necks. 

    NB- The Beast from the East – brrrr

    • Rayne says:

      Hey Bjorn – nice to see you. Think you’ve attempted to post this several times but it wasn’t going up automatically because of the volume of links embedded in the post. The site’s security will kick posts to a holding pond if there are more than one — and if traffic is high it may even kick posts with a single link to the pond for moderators’ approval. Bear with us if you don’t see a post go up promptly, okay?

      p.s. keep an eye on the amount of content in a comment, too, thanks!

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Last two links in Bjorn’s comment would benefit from a little clean-up from someone.  MobileNYT and Youtube.  Question marks, etc.

        BTW, thanks for all your work.

        • SpaceLifeForm says:

          The NYT link could be cleaned up, but not the youtube link. It is not always obvious.

          Best to clean and test.

          General rule though is that if the ? is imediately after the slash after the domain name, then you can not remove the question mark and the trailing characters.

          In this instance, ‘watch’ is there but the ?argument is needed because it points to the specific video.

    • Trip says:

      The Kushners are slimeballs. “Quality Person”:

      Donald Trump’s Son-in-Law Ruined My Thanksgiving, Tenant’s Lawsuit Says
      Uta Winkler, a rent-stabilized tenant in a Kushner-owned building at 331 E. Ninth St., said in a lawsuit filed earlier this year that her kitchen and bathroom were destroyed three days before the holiday in 2013 by construction workers renovating an unoccupied unit above her apartment.Shortly after 5:30 p.m., contractors ruptured a pipe, sending water cascading into Winkler’s kitchen and causing her ceiling to collapse…The flood made her apartment uninhabitable, forcing her to scrap her plans to host a Thanksgiving dinner and to search for a hotel for herself and German guests who had planned to stay with her. Two weeks later, Winkler had to endure more mayhem when she came home to find that a construction worker carrying dirty water and debris on the floor above hers had crashed through her bedroom ceiling, landing on her bed, court document said.
      The fall destroyed her bed and other furniture, but Westminster refused to reimburse her for the damage or even return her calls, court papers said.
      Perth Amboy condo owners take on Kushners in court
      About 32 condo owners at the Landings at Harborside in Perth Amboy have bought a civil suit against Kushner Companies, it’s subsidiary, Westminister Company, and others in connection with being misled into “purchasing high priced luxury condominiums based on misrepresentation and false promises made by the defendants,” according to the lawsuit.

      • Trip says:

        The first incident looks like a tactic used by slumlords, harassing and making lives miserable of rent stabilized people with the intent of getting them to leave, so they can charge more rent in the next lease.

        • posaune says:

          Known as constructive eviction in NYC Housing Court;  there are remedies in NYC; not sure about baltimore and new jersey.

          • Trip says:


            They settled with condo owners in NJ.  Different circumstances there, the people bought property and argued fraud.  He probably does have rentals in the state as well.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Cyprus has a global reputation as a major location for Russian money laundering.

  15. david_l says:

    I would be very surprised if US Intel doesn’t have up to date backups of the hotel’s servers and desktops, security footage, all internal and external email and fax traffic, the Full Monty on money coming into, going out of, and moving around the country, and a graph connecting the dots.

    It is becoming increasingly apparent that Mueller is using his general charge “(b)(ii) any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation;” to go after international money laundering and he’s using Trump’s widespread, longstanding money laundering activities as the entry point into the pretty densely connected web of services e.g., Mossack Fonseca, drop points and cleaners e.g., Deutsche Bank, and receivers e.g., Trump-owned properties.

    The fact that Trump put up such a fuss on a losing investment speaks volumes.

    Ironically, Trump’s having made this into a big legal battle means lots of information against his interest is sure to come out and some new, really juicy “under seal” stuff will certainly be leaked, for example to The Intercept and ICIJ.

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