Trump cant claim ignorance on this one.
WASHINGTON (AP)— Donald Trump tapped a man to be a senior business adviser to his real-estate empire even after the man’s past involvement in a major Mafia-linked stock fraud scheme had become publicly known, according to Associated Press interviews and a review of court records.
Portions of Trump’s relationship with Felix Sater, a convicted felon and government informant, have been previously known. Trump worked with the company where Sater was an executive, Bayrock Group LLC, after it rented office space from the Trump Organization as early as 2003. Sater’s criminal history was effectively unknown to the public at the time, because a judge kept the relevant court records secret and Sater altered his name. When Sater’s criminal past and Mafia links came to light in 2007, Trump distanced himself from Sater.
But less than three years later, Trump renewed his ties with Sater. Sater presented business cards describing himself as a senior adviser to Donald Trump, and he had an office on the same floor as Trump’s own office in New York’s Trump Tower, The Associated Press learned through interviews and court records.
Deeper dive from the Courthouse News:
MANHATTAN (CN) – The Bayrock Group and Nixon Peabody are among 35 defendants sued for $1 billion, whom 13 plaintiffs, including estates of Holocaust survivors, accuse of “the illegal concealment of Felix Sater’s 1998 $40 million federal racketeering conviction, and subsequent 2009 sentencing.”
The summons and notice in New York County Supreme Court contains few details. Three of the six pages of the document are taken up with names of the parties, their attorneys, and the charges.
The Miami Herald reported last year that the CIA helped Sater conceal his conviction for securities fraud while using him to track down Stinger missiles for sale in his native Russia. This was “a decade before he launched the celebrated Fort Lauderdale Trump Tower,” the Herald reported in a Sept. 8, 2012 article.
But the Trump Tower failed, and “a legal battle has ensued between burned investors trying to reveal Sater’s background and federal agents who say national security is at stake,” the Herald reported.
Prosecutors in that case asked to keep Sater’s record sealed, in the national interest.
Sater was fined $25,000 for his original $40 million stock swindle, did no jail time and was not ordered to pay anything in restitution, according to the Herald.
In the new summons and notice in New York, a string of investors want to hold Sater and his attorneys and businesses responsible. The document does not mention the alleged CIA connection.
It states: “Plaintiffs seek relief against those directly and vicariously responsible for the perpetration of perhaps a billion dollars or more of fraud based on the illegal concealment of Felix Sater’s 1998 $40 million federal racketeering conviction, and subsequent 2009 sentencing, as well as related and other unrelated relief, and declaratory relief against those persons, primarily financial institution, insofar as to affix by liquidating judgment thereof such liability is owed to them.
“‘Bayrock,’ as used herein, refers to that certain association of juridical entities including, for example and without limitation, Bayrock Group LLC, Bayrock Camelback LLC, Bayrock Whitestone LLC, Bayrock Spring Street LLC, and Bayrock Merrimac LLC, in the last ten years variously engaged in the businesses of financial institution fraud, tax fraud, partnership fraud, insurance fraud, litigation fraud, bankruptcy fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering, human trafficking, child prostitution, statutory rape, and, on occasion, real estate.
“One of the overarching, dominant themes of those Bayrock lines of business has been the fraudulent concealment of the substantial degree to which it was owned directly or equitably by Felix Sater, who was represented at various times at least during the period 2002 to 2008 to be its Chief Operating Officer and at times as its Managing Director.
“Another overarching, dominant theme of Bayrock’s lines has been the fraudulent concealment of Felix Sater’s conviction for racketeering, to which he secretly pled guilty in 1998, admitting to participating in the operation of a pump-and-dump stock fraud, along with members of Russian and Mafia organized crime, which defrauded investors, many of them senior citizens, including Holocaust survivors, of at a minimum $40,000,000, now in today’s dollars some $150,000,000 of stolen wealth as measured by the ‘well managed account’ theory.
“The Estates of Ernest and Judit Gottdiener; Ervin Tausky, a natural person, and Suan Investments, a Gottdiener family holding company, are some of those victims, survivors of the Nazi extermination of the Jews of Hungary and federally protected crime victims of Mr. Sater’s racketeering, as such his creditors. They were defrauded of their rights to restitution and, because the government illegally concealed Sater’s entire case, their rights to sue him. The Gottdieners claim damages for the fraud on them against everyone responsible for the 15-year delay and deprivation of their civil rights.
“Insofar as Sater used Bayrock as a personal piggybank to skim millions upon millions of its assets and hide them out of the reach (for now) of these and all the other hundreds if not thousands of victims to whom he now is liable over $500,000,000 in RICO damages, and would not have been able to do so without the facilitation of his concealment frauds by others, the Gottdieners sue all those for the damage they caused.
“Among those are corrupt attorneys who used fraudulent and sham court processes to hide Sater and his frauds for their own gain, as many of them did so with the specific intent, inter alia, of raking in fees from him, essentially taking the Gottdiener’s and all the others’ money for themselves by keeping it out of the hands of the victims, where it should have gone; they are sued, inter alia, for vicarious liability of all damages caused and for forfeiture of all such fees. …
“Finally, as Sater admitted at his sentencing he knew no banks would lend to Bayrock if they knew about his concealed conviction, a judicial estoppel and admission against penal interest, lenders and investors who were fraudulently induced to provide $1,000,000,000 or so to Bayrock by this concealment ought to get their money back, so they are sued in declaratory judgment to fix the liability of Bayrock and all those liable to them through Bayrock to them.
“All defendants except as noted are sued for all liability, that is, for example only, Kelly Moore, who stood in Sater’s sentencing as his attorney knowing it was illegally hidden, hearing him admit that he had been using that illegal concealment to perpetrate bank fraud, and without privilege to do so committed fraud and other actionable wrongs in maintaining sham litigation to stop those who learned of this from revealing it for years, thus knowingly facilitating the cover-ups, shall expect to have plenary liability asserted against her by every Plaintiff in every theory for every cause in the scope of the overarching conspiracy. It is the express intent of Plaintiffs to assert all liability to the fullest scope of the state law vicarious liability equivalent of civil federal Pinkerton liability against everyone participating in any identifiable and well-pled conspiracy. Those who thought nothing of helping Sater and his co-conspirators defraud, the littlest senior citizens and Holocaust survivors or the biggest banks and lenders, who thought nothing of helping him and others steal those victims’ money, must be made to pay with their own.”
Here are the defendants: Bayrock Group LLC; Tevrik Arif; Julius Schwarz; Felix Satter; Brian Halberg; Salvatore Lauria; Alex Salomon; Jerry Weinrich; Salomon & Co. PC; Akerman Senterfitt LLP; Martin Domb; Craig Brown; Duval & Stachenfeld LLP; Bruce Stachenfeld; David Granin; Nixon Peabody LLP; Adam Gilbert; Roberts & Holland LLP; Elliot Pisem; Michael Samuel; Mel Dogan; Bayrock Spring Street LLC; Does; Bayrock Whitestone LLC; Bayrock Camelback LLC; Bayrock Merrimac LLC; Bayrock Group Inc.; Tamir Sapir; Alex Sapir; Does; Walter Saurack; Satterlee Stephens Burke & Burke LLP; Kelly Moore; Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP; Nader Mobargha; Michael Beys; Beys Stein & Mobargha LLP; and Todd Kaminsky.Here are the plaintiffs: J Kriss; Michael Ejekam; Bayrock Merrimac LLC; Bayrock Group LLC; Bayrock Spring Street LLC; Bayrock Whitestone LLC; Bayrock Spring Street LLC; Bayrock Whitestone LLC; Bayrock Camelback LLC; E/O Ernest; E/Ojudit Gottdiener; Ervin Tausky; Suan Investments.