Sorting Out The Timeline For Lev Parnas And Program Trading Corp.

Jim here once again.

In yesterday’s post, I puzzled over the curious timeline of Program Trading Corp. appearing to have been incorporated with Lev Parnas involved before he was registered as a broker and before he says he moved to Florida. After a bit of further digging, it now looks as though Parnas did not have an association with Program Trading Corp. until August 20,1998, when his FINRA records indicate his registration was moved there. What caused my confusion is the fact that Florida’s corporate record database reflects only the most recent information on registered agents and corporate officers. That information appears alongside the incorporation date and can create the false impression I had that Program Trading Corp. had Lev Parnas as an officer from its founding in September, 1992.

Further complicating this mess is that the online records for Program Trading Corp. don’t include the original documents before the annual report that was filed in May of 1995. What becomes clear when looking at the early annual reports is that prior to 1999, Program Trading Corp. had only a single registered agent and officer, Robert J. Renneker. The company operated in Orlando rather than Boca Raton. Further, it appears that Renneker first incorporated the company as Renn Corp. Securities but after just one month changed the name to Program Trading Corp. While the 1998 annual report listed only Renneker, the 1999 report added Lev Parnas, Robert Grinberg and two others. See this Politico article from earlier today that gives details on legal issues (unrelated to Program Trading Corp.) that one of these  other new officers faced.

Very strange things happened on the corporate front for the next couple of years. In the 2000 annual report, Parnas and Grinberg were deleted, while in 2001, they were restored and Renneker was removed. In the final report that was filed, in 2003, the officers were whittled down to only Parnas and Grinberg. Interestingly, during the time Parnas and Grinberg were removed as officers, their broker registrations remained with Program Trading.

The timing for Parnas and Grinberg coming on board at Program Trading Corp. corresponds exactly with an arbitration judgement, totaling just under $154,000, awarded to clients of the firm. The case was closed on August 10,1998. Parnas’ registration moved to Program Trading on August 20, while Grinberg’s arrived on November 6.

At some time along the way, Program Trading Corp. became wholly owned by Aaron Investment Group, Inc. This entity was first incorporated on May 11, 1999, by an attorney at the high-powered firm of Broad and Cassell. There was only one director: Lev Parnas.  Grinberg and the other partners who were also with Program Trading at the time were added on the 2000 annual report. The two extras disappeared in the 2003 report, just as they did for Program Trading.

It is possible that Parnas and Grinberg knew each other while growing up. One of the addresses for Grinberg used in some of his other corporate filings ties the same name to two previous addresses in the southern part of Brooklyn where Parnas worked for Kings Highway Realty selling Trump Village co-ops, as described in yesterday’s post.

This timeline might also be subject to revision, as Grinberg claims in this bio for another company to have founded Program Trading Corp. in 1994, five years before there is documentation I’ve seen so far connecting him to the firm.

Both Program Trading Corp. and Aaron Investment Group, Inc., which owned it, were dissolved by the state after they failed to file annual reports for 2004. I don’t know if it is related, but I have found SEC filings with audits for Program Trading Corp. that were filed for calendar years 2001 and 2002. In the 2002 audit, the financials indicate a capital contribution from the parent (which would be Aaron Investment Group, Inc.) of $4.6 million. It appears that no audit was submitted to the SEC for 2003, and the FINRA page for Program Trading Corp. shows that SEC registration status was revoked on November 11, 2003. A more detailed FINRA page, however, puts the shutdown of the company a bit earlier, with registration being withdrawn on September 12, 2003. So whatever happened to blow up Program Trading Corp. happened between filing the annual corporate report with Florida on April 28, 2003 and the FINRA withdrawal of registration on September 12.

Beginning just before and continuing after the end of Program Trading Corp, Parnas and Grinberg embarked on incorporating many more entities, but describing those will have to wait for another post.

So, while in yesterday’s post it appeared that Parnas was a “made man” by age 23 when he says he moved to Florida, it may well be that it took a few more years for him to hit bigger operations in 1999 instead of 1995. And now just what he was up to between 1995 and joining Program Trading Corp. becomes a big question.


19 replies
  1. John Paul Jones says:

    Still leaves unanswered the question of where, precisely, the money was coming from. Do any records exist of these companies doing any trading or even anything at all? The biggest dollop came from Aaron Investments, but where did Aaron get it from? If it were the case that capital was being imported from offshore, would you be able to tell that from the various records and filings? Just asking, because my ignorance on these matters is profound.

    • Jim White says:

      Indeed. As noted in the previous post, a trading operation is a good place for money laundering, so there could in theory have been many streams of bad funds being cleaned.

      But keep in mind that when we move forward to the money at the heart of the indictments, the government knows who Foreign National 1 is, and this person is referred to as Russian. It would seem likely that the government is working backward from the funds transfer at the heart of the indictment to see if there are any other financial entanglements between this person and those indicted.

  2. Savage Librarian says:

    I don’t do twitter but noticed your comment in the feed EW provides at the bottom of each post. The tweet says,”We found more photos of Ron DeSantis on election night with the two arrested Giuliani associates. This time, they’…”

    So, I wanted to point out that it is not only Igor Fruman and Lev Parnas with DeSantis. Aaron Parnas (to Lev’s left) is also there. And, as you can see from the excerpts and cited article below, he aspires to be POTUS some day. So, maybe somebody is playing a long game here…

    “Teen with FAU degree and presidential aspirations heads to law school”
    Posted Oct 2017 
    “MEET YOUR NEIGHBOR: Aaron Parnas, 18”

    “In between volunteering for President Donald Trump’s campaign last year, Parnas has logged hundreds of hours at both the Palm Beach County and Broward County courthouses. He spent his time working with attorneys, victims and defendants during the legal process.”

    “He was also the co-president of the FAU High mock trial team, which finished in the top five of the Florida State competition. The team also competed in the Yale Bulldog Mock Trial competition in Connecticut, where he received the Best Attorney award.”

      • Savage Librarian says:

        In the clip from the twitter feed, there is a young man right behind Aaron Parnas that I cannot identify. But he resembles a young man named Samuel Armes, mentioned below:

        “Seminole County Tax Collector Hires Samuel Armes As Blockchain Director” – David Pimentel

        “Samuel Armes, 22, is a recent graduate of the University of South Florida. Armes has done work for United States Special Operations Command as well as for the State Department surrounding issues on illicit finance, counter terrorism, public policy, and international trade deals. He has also worked in Tallahassee where he became familiar with Florida’s political process. Armes is the founder of Realpolitech and the Executive Director of the Florida Blockchain Business Association.”

      • Savage Librarian says:

        Adding: Seminole County Tax Collector, Joel Greenberg (who hired Samuel Armes,) is a friend of Roger Stone and Matt Gaetz.

    • Jim White says:

      Thanks for those links. I had seen the bit about Aaron wanting to be president a bit earlier today. Also, if it’s the same article I’m thinking of, or one that covers the same topics at least, it’s very important to note that Aaron entered law school at age 18 and is expected to graduate in 2020.

      Oh, and he interned at Rudy’s old firm…

      Finally, I am starting now on a post that will address some of the many businesses affiliated with Lev Parnas with “Aaron” in the name.

    • Eureka says:

      (Cued by ~ Aaron aspires to be POTUS~ above):

      Another reminder of the coming, next-gen, apocalypse:

      Russians Flock to Trump Properties to Give Birth to U.S. Citizens

      How much does anyone want to bet that this is all deeper than the last decade (not that it needs to be, but…), possibly started or also takes place in NY, and includes some of the familiar casts of characters or their associates?

      I wonder if any business names here overlap (though I’d imagine they would have been thoroughly investigated by now).

      • P J Evans says:

        California has had a lot of Chinese “birth tourism”, and people who use their homes as hotels for the “tourists” have been arrested in the past.

        • Eureka says:

          Yes I saw some of that, though didn’t read about it in depth. I’d like to have a better handle on how much of this (birth tourism in general) is (geo)politically organized as an operation to exploit the US, versus individuals and families trying to better their chances at an American Dream. I imagine there are combinations in-between, where competitive or enemy nations who also claim life-rights of loyalty from their citizens are happy to facilitate duality for their own purposes.

          • Ewan says:

            Exploiting the US, I don’t know. There is a price to be a US citizen: you have to declare taxes in the US even if you never set a foot in the country. This can be expensive, ask Boris Johnson.

        • earlofhutingdon says:

          As it does Russian birth-tourists. La Jolla, for example, does a brisk business through its high-end condo rentals and SD’s top hospitals.

  3. Eureka says:

    That Politico article you mention was interesting as to their mid-aughts EdgeTech business, and the devices they sought to market –PocketSurfer (RU market) and “The Edge”.

    Cursorily, I didn’t find “The Edge” product (tho did find a “gentleman’s club” in Miami), but did see that the PocketSurfer was a product where all traffic was routed through a Canadian (Montreal) proxy server:
    DataWind PocketSurfer Review & Rating,2817,1774849,00.asp

    Via wikis, it looks like the company who makes it (PocketSurfer) is still around, reorganized into something different when they had to leave the Canadian exchange. But Parnas’s co’s work there was for just the limited RU market, per Politico.

    I’d love to know more about “The Edge” device and who made it, etc. [Obviously mid-aughts tech called “The Edge” brings to mind that foundation and affiliates…in the tech business, among others…]

  4. Eureka says:

    Great content on Correia here, interviews with people who did business with him, knew him:

    From a Manayunk restaurant manager to a figure in the presidential impeachment inquiry

    They also have a screenshot of Correia’s *January 22, 2017* tweet-reply to Joe Biden (~~”…Serving as your VP was the greatest honor of my life”):

    i assume the day your son took his position in Ukraine was also a great moment? I have a feeling that chapter isn’t closed….

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