NC Election Investigations and the Yard Sale at the 18th Hole

[NB: Not Marcy if you check the byline. /~Rayne]

Earlier this week a friend pointed me to an article in a local Raleigh, North Carolina news site. I knew there had been an investigation into the 9th Congressional district because of election fraud; absentee ballots had been picked up, altered, and changed for the benefit of a Republican candidate.

But I didn’t realize there was federal investigation in the same state looking into fraud related to the 2016 election and earlier. The shared article noted the State Board of Elections had instructed 32 county elections boards to voting histories, signed poll books and redacted ballots. The scope of the investigation covers multiple election cycles. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina (EDNC) subpoenaed elections records in August 2018.

Apparently the EDNC initially requested a much broader range of voting records for the same period from these counties. Since August the state attorney general has pushed back against the EDNC on behalf of the State Board of Elections. The May 3 request represented a substantially pared down number of records — under 900 records across 32 counties.

The counties involved in this request include Wake County in which capital city Raleigh is located.

U.S. Attorney Robert Higdon, a Trump appointee, appears to be focused on votes by non-citizens.

Of course — let’s indulge white nationalist dark urges and chase rare voter fraud while real fraud at much larger scale nearly seated a Republican in the House.

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The EDNC’s investigation isn’t related to one in the 9th Congressional District along North Carolina’s southern border. A Republican political operative, hired in 2016 by then-candidate Mark Harris, committed election fraud by collecting, altering, or destroying absentee ballots. After investigation by the State Board of Elections, operative Leslie McCrae Dowless was indicted by the state for obstruction of justice, conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice, and possession of absentee ballots.

The State Board of Elections refused to certify the election’s outcome and has now rescheduled a primary election for next Tuesday, May 14. Depending on the outcome of the primary race, the final election may be September 5.

Mark Harris said he will not be a candidate.

Rather amusing now because Harris thought there was voter fraud on the Democrats’ part, according to emails produced during the investigation.

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When I went poking around to compare the two investigations, another interesting investigation popped up in my search results for “wral federal investigation raleigh.”

Not a lot was published about the case of Leonid Teyf, arrested last year in a murder-for-hire case. This is odd given the fact Teyf is Russian and a business crony of Yevgeny Prigozhin. You’ll recall Prigozhin, often referred to as ‘Putin’s chef’, was indicted along with the Internet Research Agency for their role in interfering with the 2016 general election.

North Carolina’s local news, The Daily Beast, and Maddow, and the Wall Street Journal covered this case in December last year and January this year after the feds conducted a raid on one of the most expensive residential addresses in North Carolina.

Do read the Daily Beast piece — it’s the most detailed. Maddow outlines how Teyf’s case was used as a means to collect information on the federal investigative process and the Special Counsel’s Office. Based on a protective order issued this week, it looks like the court is concerned that information is still being passed on.

You can find the court filings at Courtlistener under United States v. Teyf (5:18-cr-00452).

What interested me — besides the fact Teyf bought a MASSIVE home on the 18th hole of the North Ridge Country Club in Raleigh — is the timing of events here in the U.S.

2010 — Teyf came to the U.S., moving his family to North Carolina. He continued to work in Russia and traveled back and forth between the two countries through 2013.

2011 — Teyf and associates began activities chargeable under 18 USC 1957 – Engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activity

2012 — 16,865 square foot 8-bedroom French Country mansion built for Dean and Wendy Painter in 2000 was listed in April at $4,850,000; it sold for $4.2 million in September. The Painter family said the buyers were Russian though the paperwork showed the buyer was New Market LLC.

2014 — Residence was listed for sale at $7.8 million, a price well above original purchase price. The owner was still listed as New Market LLC; the realty firm representing the seller posted a listing on a website in Russian and Arabic.

201X — A quit claim deed was executed transferring ownership of the residence to Leonid and Tatyana Teyf.

2018 — Seal indictment was filed November 8 against Leonid and Tatyana Teyf and Aleksander Timofeev.

2018 — Residence was raided by FBI on December 5.

2018 — Indictment was unsealed on December 12.

If you read The Daily Beast’s article, you’ll note that the kickbacks skimmed off Russian Federation contracts to military vendors didn’t result in prosecution by Russia.

One can only infer that Teyf came here with the implicit blessing of Russian leadership.

And he came here the same year that the Illegals Program spies were booted out of the country.

Teyf’s been here with Prigozhin’s implicit blessing, too.

He bought a huge house with a bullet- and fireproof safe room, bought several millions in art, cars, furnishings — all of this from $150 million obtained through kickbacks.

Mind you, the feds must have been watching him since it was federal personnel he tried to pay to kill the Russian housekeeper’s son who he believed was having an affair with his wife Tatyana.

But how closely were the feds watching what Teyf was doing if he was able to open 70 banking accounts with millions of dollars over the course of a couple years’ time?

What might Teyf have been doing for Prigozhin in the U.S.? And why was he located in North Carolina?

And on a golf course of all places — in the biggest house on the 18th hole. Might even be visible from space.

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It was kind of a long trip to get to this question: how many other Russians are there like Leonid Teyf in the U.S., going about their business in plain view of the American public?

One other thing bothers me about this situation. If you come across local TV news video or one of the local news outlet’s articles about the raid, you’ll see someone quoted who looks like the average Joe who lives in a nice neighborhood. This person makes remarks to the effect that the folks at 6510 New Market Way were down to earth, they were good folks, even went to their yard sale.

Leonid Teyf maintains he doesn’t speak English. It’s been a point of contention during the court case. How does average Joe know Teyf is down to earth and good folk?

Why does average Joe, in December 2018, not feel at all suspicious about a Russian who can’t speak any English living just down the street in one of the state’s most expensive houses?


This is an open thread.