Classified Information Sent to Clinton Foundation Employees

Hey FBI, can you fellas look at this again and have another presser to explain it?

Hey Hillary, how about that separate plane? Don’t you owe the taxpayers some money for demanding exclusive luxury because you did not want to share a plane with Michelle?

Image result for hillary on military plane NYDailyNews

Clinton and her top aide, Huma Abedin, discussed in a July 2011 exchange Clinton’s plans to attend the funeral of fellow former First Lady Betty Ford in Grand Rapids, Mich.

“Looks like plane won’t be an issue,” Abedin wrote. “Also, looks like Michelle Obama also going.”

“Is it ok [sic] that we and Mrs. O take two separate planes?” Clinton asked.

“I think it’s ok [sic]. But let me see what kind of plane she’s taking,” Abedin responded.

“I would rather have our own of course,” Clinton added.


Emails also show Abedin providing government plane and hotel reservations to Chelsea Clinton for trip to Germany while employed at Clinton Foundation

Abedin tells Band that she has ‘hooked up’ people from the Russian American Foundation with ‘the right people’ at the State Department

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch today released 2,078 pages of documents revealing more instances of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sending and receiving classified information via an unsecured email server. They also show Clinton’s daughter Chelsea and others involved with the Clinton Foundation receiving special favors from Huma Abedin, the former secretary’s deputy chief of staff.

The records were obtained in response to a court order from a May 5, 2015, lawsuit filed against the State Department (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:15-cv-00684)) after it failed to respond to a March 18, 2015, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking: “All emails of official State Department business received or sent by former Deputy Chief of Staff Huma Abedin from January 1, 2009 through February 1, 2013 using a non-‘’ email address.”

The new documents included 115 Clinton email exchanges not previously turned over to the State Department, bringing the known total to date to at least 432 emails that were not part of the 55,000 pages of emails that Clinton turned over to the State Department. These records further appear to contradict statements by Clinton that, “as far as she knew,” all of her government emails were turned over to the State Department.

On December 6, 2010, Secretary Clinton shared classified information with non-U.S. government employees Justin Cooper, then-aide to President Clinton who helped manage Hillary Clinton’s unsecure email system, and Clinton Foundation director Doug Band (neither of whom held security clearances). The email instructs her aide Oscar Flores to “print for Bill” (presumably Bill Clinton). The email exchange, which involved allegations of the theft of foreign aid by Bangladeshi banker and major Clinton Foundation donor Muhammad Yunus, started with an email from an unidentified person to State Department official Melanne Verveer, who forwarded her exchange on to Hillary Clinton, who then sent it on to Flores, Cooper and Band.

Image result for grameen bank hillary

Yunus was accused of embezzling $100 million from the Grameen Bank he founded and was removed from it, although the charges were never proven, and Yunus reportedly returned the money. Subsequently, Clinton’s State Department was accused of threatening IRS action against the Bangladesh prime minister’s son in an attempt to stop a Bangladesh government investigation of Yunus.

In a similar instance on March 14, 2011, State Department official Maria Otero emailed Clinton information about the Grameen Bank/Foundation that was again deemed classified as Confidential by the State Department and redacted under FOIA exemption B1.4(D) – “Information specifically authorized by an executive order to be kept secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy … Foreign relations or foreign activities of the United States, including confidential sources.” Clinton then responds to Otero using her HDR22@clintonemailcom account and copies Abedin on Abedin’s unsecure email account, [email protected].

In May 2010, Ben Ringel, whose donations to the Clinton Foundation Judicial Watch previously documented, asked Abedin to intervene in an employment dispute on behalf of a USAID employee. Abedin agreed, telling Ringel to forward the woman’s documents to her official State Department email account.

In a May 21, 2011, email exchange sent to Abedin’s unsecure account, then- Ambassador Princeton Lyman sent information relating to his conversation with South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit that is also redacted and classified as “Confidential.”

On July 17, 2012, Abedin forwarded to her private email account for printing a call briefing sheet for Clinton’s upcoming call with Joint Special Envoy Kofi Annan, which was classified Confidential and redacted under FOIA exemption B1.4(D).

The new Abedin emails also reveal additional instances in which Clinton’s then- scheduler Lona Valmoro forwarded the former secretary of state’s detailed daily schedule to top Clinton Foundation officials.

The new emails also reveal a number of favors that were requested and carried out.

Image result for doug band Doug Band and Chelsea/DailyMailUK

In May 2010, Abedin tells Band that she has “hooked up” people from the Russian American Foundation with “the right people” at the State Department after Abedin received a request from Russian American Foundation Vice President Rina Kirshner, forwarded by Clinton Foundation donor Eddie Trump (no relation to President Trump).

On Mon, May 10, 2010 at 9:41 PM, Huma Abedin <[email protected]> wrote:

Hi Rina – wanted to connect on meeting at state department. Eddie trump passed on your email. Will be in touch soon

From: Rina Kirshner

Sent: Wednesday, May 12, 2010 11:29 AM

To: Huma Abedin

Subject: Re: Eddie Trump/Doug Band

Ms. Abedin,

Just wanted to follow up and express our gratitude. I was contacted today by Ms. Christina Miner who invited us to be part of the US-Russia Cultural Sub-Working Group meeting next week. Thank you very much for all your assistance – if there is any way we can be of assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me.


Rina Kirshner

From: Huma Abedin [[email protected]]

Sent: Wednesday, May 12, 2010 12:19:12

To: Doug Band

Subject: FW: Eddie Trump/Doug Band

fyi – we hooked her up with the right people here

The Russia-American Foundation was staffed by Clinton political supporters and operatives, received over $260,000 in grants for “public diplomacy” from the Clinton State Department, and its leadership was supportive of Obama’s Russia policies.

In July 2011, when Chelsea Clinton, using the alias Diane Reynolds and the email address [email protected], was planning to fly to Germany to see the U.S. women’s soccer team play, her travel agent asked Abedin to confirm that Chelsea’s travel costs could be placed on her parents’ credit card. In response, Abedin tells the agent that she can “stand down” from making arrangements to get Chelsea to Germany, as Chelsea and Bari Luri, Chelsea’s Clinton Foundation chief of staff, would be made part of the “official delegation” going to the match and she would “fly on official govt plane both ways and they will take care of hotels and all transportation.” Chelsea was a fully employed Clinton Foundation executive at this time.

In July 2011, Clinton tells Abedin that she doesn’t wish to fly on the same airplane with Michelle Obama on their way to Betty Ford’s funeral: “I’d be honored to speak. Is it ok that we and Mrs. O take two separate planes?”

A December 15, 2012, email chain shows that a committee of Clinton staffers, including Cheryl Mills, Huma Abedin, Jake Sullivan and Philippe Reines, was required to draft a “doctors statement” as to why Hillary supposedly fainted due to “dehydration,” causing her supposedly to hit her head and suffer a “concussion” in December 2012. The same committee then prepared a “discharge statement” when Hillary was released from the hospital.

“These shocking new Clinton emails show why the Justice Department should reevaluate, reopen, or reinvigorate Clinton, Inc. investigations,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The casual violation of laws concerning classified material and noxious influence peddling show the Clinton State Department was ‘corruption central’ in the Obama administration.  No wonder Clinton’s allies in the State and Justice Departments had been slow-walking and hiding these emails.”

Global Dark Money in Condos of Secrecy

Federal money laundering cases generally take place within the context of a larger racketeering case governed by the RICO Act. Money laundering is typically only one aspect of a pattern of organized crime which may be nationwide or international. That being the case, money laundering is often the lesser offense in a pattern of crimes that can result in lifetime imprisonment.

Image result for money laundering UNODC

Money Laundering Quick Links & References

A few years ago, Peter Schweizer  wrote:

Throw Them All Out


How politicians and their friends get rich off insider stock tips, land deals, and cronyism that would send the rest of us to prison.

(If you have not read the book, try it out. It lays the ground work not only for politicians but international civilians also use the same model by gaining diplomatic status of obscure countries with bribes)

Now for the rest of the story.

Federal money laundering laws are guided by the RICO Act and there are a handful of countries with criminals operating under shadow corporations that clean money via real estate investments. London, New York and Miami are the prime cities where billions are spent on luxury real estate and the actual owner is never known.

Money laundering has a wide range of criminals that include Mafia, drug cartel leaders, Russians, Cypriots, business owners and even Kazakhstanis.

Some investigative journalists have done a remarkable job at tracking this phenomenon and there was even a documentary produced in 2015. This condition is actually a global shadow economy that has an estimated value in the range of billions of dollars. The New York Times has somewhat of a collection of related cases that you may find interesting where even Malaysia is included.

The Miami Herald did a story in 2015 on how Miami is but one crown jewel for offshore dollars fueling the real estate boom there. Ever heard of Isaias 21 Property or Mateus 5 International Holding? No? You’re not supposed to know.

Miami has a long history of money laundering. Its financial institutions report more suspicious activity than any other major U.S. city besides New York City and Los Angeles, according to FinCen data. And a recent case of money laundering involving fancy condos and the violent Spanish drug gang Los Miami drew further scrutiny to South Florida.

Jack McCabe, an analyst who studies the booming local housing market, said it’s impossible to know how many homes are purchased with dirty money.

“But I think many people believe it could be a sizable portion of the new condominium market in Miami,” McCabe said. “Even though developers and real-estate professionals suspect many of these units are bought with illegal funds, they realize their projects may not be successful without that support.”

Much has been in the news recently about the Trump team and companies being involved with Russian officials and oligarchs. There is hard evidence and some cases have already been through the legal system. We certainly cannot dismiss Hillary and Bill Clinton when it comes to collusion with those inside the Kremlin either much less a handful of other countries through their foundations. It appears there is no ‘statute of limitations’ with regard to US Code law on RICO.

The Russians have been dirty for years and those inside the Russian Federation and oligarchs have been moving illicit millions to billions out of the home country. For example how about a certain prominent Russian as one of the named depositors is billionaire oligarch (and personal friend of Vladimir Putin) Gennady Timchenko, who was sanctioned by the United States in March 2014 for his role in providing “material or other support to” Russian government officials. (There’s a rumor that sometime in the 1990s, Putin and Timchenko, who holds Finnish citizenship, were arrested in Helsinki for drunk and disorderly conduct; a rap sheet is said to exist with the two men’s mug shots.)

Timchenko’s designation carried the blockbuster revelation that Gunvor, the Swiss commodities trader he co-founded, was itself a vehicle for Putin’s personal self-enrichment: “Putin has investments in Gunvor,” the U.S. Treasury notice stated, “and may have access to Gunvor funds.” Not long before the sanctions were announced, Timchenko, who is worth an estimated $14.1 billion, was said to have divested his stake in Gunvor. Then, in November 2014, it was announced that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, helped by the Justice Department, was investigating Timchenko for money laundering. In 2013, Reuters disclosed that Timchenko had hired lobby firm Patton Boggs to persuade the U.S. Export-Import Bank, the export credit agency of the U.S. government, to finance his purchase of up to 11 Gulfstream luxury jets—a deal that was eyebrow-raising at the time and is now rendered illegal by sanctions. The rest of the story is here regarding one well known bank HSBC.

Image result for money laundering  Interfima

So…back to the scandal that just wont go away, the Trump people and Russians. There are a handful of names that include Paul Manafort, Carter Page, Oleg Deripaska, Michael Cohen (Trump’s personal lawyer), Jared Kushner (Trump’s son-in-law) dealing with Vnesheconombank, Felix Sater and more.

Considering the work of the FBI, the DoJ and State’s Attorneys General, the work appears to have a beginning but no end for both Trump and Clinton. As an aside, we need to ask officials where the Clinton investigation is, it at all. But moving on. This summary is not meant to take any anti-Trump position at all, in fact, we need him to succeed for the sake of America’s future. This is meant to be somewhat of a public service with all the chatter and investigations.

If you want to know what members of congress know and what the FBI is doing, here is but one clue:


The net is closing around a duo of fugitive oligarchs and their kin accused of laundering Kazakh money in posh U.S. real estate — including Trump Organization properties.

In a complicated case with potential implications for President Donald Trump’s business empire and associates of the real-estate-developer-turned-president, Switzerland has revealed it is considering an extradition request from Ukraine to hand over the son of a former Kazakh energy minister — and both men are facing money-laundering allegations in the United States and charges in Kazakhstan.

It’s the latest development in a saga that is reaching into Bayrock Group, an international real estate and investment company that paid the Trump Organization a license fee for the use of its name and an 18 percent ownership stake in the New York hotel and condo project.

The Khrapunov family is accused in U.S. lawsuits of “cleaning” illicit money through the purchase and quick resale of U.S. luxury properties, including daughter Elvira Kudryashova’s purchase of three Trump-branded condos in New York and a 9,000-square-foot Studio City mansion flipped in months to pop singer Bruno Mars for $6.5 million.

An investigation by McClatchy and reporting partners, involving interviews with officials representing legal matters against the accused in four countries, reveals:

▪ Ukraine has recently asked Switzerland to extradite Ilyas Khrapunov, son of former Kazakh Energy Minister Viktor Khrapunov, for alleged computer hacking.

▪ Ilyas Khrapunov and his wife secured unusual diplomatic posts representing the Central African Republic in Geneva, a move that helped provide them with a means of travel.

▪ Court documents tie Felix Sater — a Trump associate, Bayrock partner and twice-convicted Russian émigré — to some of the Khrapunovs’ transactions.

▪ Kazakh authorities asked the United States for information on Bayrock as part of the ongoing attempt to recover funds.

▪ A New York court decision may further reveal details about the Kazakh family’s financial flows into condos in the Trump SoHo building, developed and sold by Bayrock. Bank records include large transfers from a now-sanctioned Cyprus lender.

Federal lawsuits brought in Los Angeles by the city of Almaty and former business partners in New York are advancing against Ilyas and Viktor, who is also a former mayor of Almaty, Kazakhstan’s largest city. Both Khrapunovs and Ilyas’ father-in-law, Mukhtar Ablyazov — an uber-wealthy fugitive banker who owned BTA Bank until it was seized by regulators in 2009 — face criminal charges in Kazakhstan. Authorities allege $10 billion went missing from the bank, Kazakhstan’s third largest, and that Ablyazov moved out at least $4 billion.

The trio say they are the victims of political persecution by President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who has ruled oil-rich Kazakhstan since 1990. The country ranks in the bottom quarter on transparency measures, and Nazarbayev’s family is accused of stashing money in offshore companies.

The gathering legal drama is shining light on Trump business associate Bayrock Group, which involves Kazakh partners who helped develop the Trump SoHo building in New York and projects in Arizona and South Florida. This at a time when Donald Trump’s Russian and foreign ties are under greater scrutiny.

Crucial to Trump and his businesses — and the ability of lawyers to establish whether the Trump Organization had any knowledge of or benefit from any illegal money flows — is whether the United States or Switzerland hears the lawsuits against the Khrapunovs. If prosecutors convince a California court to hear the case, lawyers will have much greater ability to dig for evidence through a process known as discovery; Switzerland’s rules are far more restrictive.

This New York City Department of Finance document shows Elvira Kudryashova as the manager of SoHo 3311 LLC, which bought a unit in the Trump SoHo building. She is the daughter of Viktor Khrapunov, a fugitive Kazakh politician facing money laundering charges abroad and two civil lawsuits in the United States.

TheUkrainian extradition request from March shows that Ilyas Khrapunov is sought there for allegedly orchestrating a computer hack of a law firm representing BTA Bank.

“The allegations against me are preposterous,” Ilyas Khrapunov said in an interview, dismissing as “political” the accusations that he used malware in an email to gain access to and publish contents from a hard drive.

The Swiss are weighing the matter.

“In the Khrapunov case, an international assistance procedure and a national procedure for money laundering are currently underway at the Geneva Public Prosecutor’s Office,” said Henri Della Casa, a spokesman, confirming two Swiss probes. “We are making no further comments.”

Ablyazov, who uses his Facebook page as a protest site, was arrested by French police disguised as gardeners outside his home in Cannes in 2013. He was freed last December after France dropped an extradition order, determining he could not receive a fair trial, and he remains there.

California connection

The net tightening began here. According to allegations in the California lawsuit, Viktor Khrapunov arranged for rigged auctions of state property during his term as mayor of Almaty from 1997 to 2004. He and his wife, Leila, allegedly purchased property at substantially below-market rates using shell companies they controlled, then sold off the properties for a profit estimated at $300 million.

Documents published by the self-described transparency group WikiLeaks show that Viktor Khrapunov was a kleptocracy concern for U.S. diplomats.

“Many observers are puzzled as to how Khrapunov, who is known to be quite corrupt . . . has managed to stay in government,” Kevin Milas, the U.S. embassy’s second in command, wrote back to agency headquarters in a Jan. 17, 2007, confidential memo about a political reshuffling.

The internal note cited an industrialist who had complained of being hit up for a bribe by Khrapunov.

The family fled to Switzerland in early 2008, where Ilyas already lived, seeking political asylum a few years later.

Viktor Khrapunov faced an Interpol detention request beginning in 2012, yet the family was able to buy the property in Los Angeles and the three Trump SoHo condos in New York. Ilyas Khrapunov was put under the same request in 2014.

The Khrapunovs say their fortune is clean and comes from family matriarch Leila, a businesswoman and TV anchor who became owner of Kazakhstan’s first private TV station.

“Switzerland has refused twice to extradite Viktor Khrapunov on the grounds that he would not have an equitable trial in Kazakhstan,” said Ilyas Khrapunov. “Switzerland proposed instead to have the trial delegated to them but Kazakhstan refused, fearing that the truth would come out.”

Friends in low places

The investigation by McClatchy and partners also found that Ilyas Khrapunov and his wife, Madina, Ablyazov’s daughter, were appointed to unusual diplomatic posts representing the Central African Republic at the U.N. Mission in Geneva.

A source tied to the Central African Republic, granted anonymity, said the couple had been appointed by former ruler Francois Bozizé before he was toppled and fled his troubled nation in 2013. Through a land acquisition the couple obtained dual citizenship in the Caribbean haven of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

“Due to refusal of Kazakhstan to renew passports of the family, we were forced to apply through legal process to obtain secondary citizenships in order to exercise our rights to travel,” said Ilyas Khrapunov.

The diplomatic appointments and the recent extradition request are just chapters what’s been a complex, decade-long legal battle that is slowly providing more detail on Trump Organization associate Bayrock Group.

Trump’s associate

Bayrock is an international real estate and investment firm that worked with Trump on at least three known joint projects, and involves Kazakh businessmen.

Trump personally dealt with Bayrock, giving the developer a one-year exclusive right to build a Trump International Hotel and Tower in Moscow. In exchange he’d get a 20-25 percent stake in it.

“I am delighted at having the opportunity to partner with Bayrock Group LLC on yet another world-class development,” Trump wrote in a Jan. 1, 2005, letter to Tevfik Arif, a Kazakh partner of Bayrock, that was entered into evidence in a New Jersey lawsuit. “Moscow is one of the fastest growing cities in the world and offers the best location for a Signature Donald J. Trump development.”

At the time it entered the condo-branding deal with Trump, Bayrock was co-run by a twice-convicted Russian émigré and Trump associate named Felix Sater.

Court documents in New York involving the Khrapunovs tie Sater to multiple transactions by an investment firm in Luxembourg called Triadou SPV S.A., which invested in the United States and elsewhere. People close to the transactions, speaking privately because of ongoing businesses, say Sater had access to Trump and bragged about his Trump connections, even calling him “Mr T.”

In a 2013 videotaped deposition, Trump suggested he barely knew Sater.

“If he were sitting in the room right now, I really wouldn’t know what he looked like,” Trump said under oath as witness in a Florida lawsuit against Bayrock Group.

A prospectus shows Triadou was fully owned by SDG Capital S.A., a company on Lake Geneva that operates as Swiss Development Group, founded at the time the Khrapunovs fled to Switzerland. They say, in court documents, that it was sold in March 2013 to a Swiss businessman, who retained Ilyas Khrapunov through 2015.

Former Triadou Director Nicolas Bourg testified under oath last year that his company belonged to the Khrapunovs, who ordered him to sell assets and move money out of the United States after the California lawsuit was filed in 2014. The Khrapunovs say that is not true and that they’ve kept Swiss authorities informed of their purchases.

Bourg further testified that the Khrapunovs and Ablyazov co-mingled investments and used offshore shell companies to camouflage the purchase and sale of properties in the United States and elsewhere.

Another Triadou associate, New York developer Joseph Chetrit, settled with lawyers for the city of Almaty in 2015 and pledged to support their effort to recover what the city calls more than $300 million in stolen funds.

Sater was named in a lawsuit against a Triadou-owned company that was settled in December 2013. He is also being sued by one former Bayrock partner, Jody Kriss. And according to a recent story by The Wall Street Journal, Sater has issued veiled threats to dish on other Kazakhs because of a dispute he has over legal fees with another Bayrock partner of Kazakh origin, Tevfik Arif.

Arif gained international notoriety when he was arrested in 2010 while throwing what Turkish authorities called a lavish sex party on a luxury yacht involving teenage girls. The charges were later dropped.

Leila Khrapunov briefly did business with Arif and Bayrock in a joint venture called KazBay, which was going to invest in Kazakh natural resources but never got off the ground, in part because of revelations in a New York Times story in late 2007 that Bayrock’s Sater had a checkered past.

Kazakh authorities have alleged in their criminal case that Viktor Khrapunov’s stolen money was deposited at Eurasian Bank in Almaty and then transferred to Switzerland. That bank is owned by Alexander Mashkevich, a strategic partner in Bayrock and someone who, according to a report by McClatchy last month, is linked in sealed British court documents to organized crime groups. Mashkevich is not named in the U.S. lawsuits against Khrapunov, and the Khrapunovs banked with several lenders.

U.S. vs. Switzerland

The battle over which court should hear the high-stakes California lawsuit could determine whether the plaintiff’s lawyers establish any involvement in alleged money laundering by Trump associates.

I am convinced that Switzerland could become a model for countries that have recently embarked on the path of democracy.

Viktor Khrapunov on his website

“Switzerland is a perfectly adequate venue for my client,” said John Kenney, Khrapunov’s legal counsel in New York with the firm Hoguet Newman Regal & Kenney.

A federal court in California agreed in July 2015, but that decision was overturned this past March 30 on appeal by lawyers for the city of Almaty, allowing the case in Los Angeles to proceed.

“The city of Almaty is confident that when the court reviews the evidence, it will find that Viktor Khrapunov unjustly enriched himself to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars by abusing his position as mayor, and with the assistance of his son Ilyas and others, laundered it throughout the world,” said Matthew L. Schwartz, a lawyer with Boies, Schiller & Flexner, which is representing Almaty in the New York case.

The Khrapunovs have until later in June to decide whether to appeal, but for more than two years they’ve avoided sitting for depositions in the U.S. cases.

“The defendants have sought to delay the case at every turn,” said David Schindler, a lawyer who represents Almaty in the California case. “Nevertheless our client remains committed to holding the Khrapunovs accountable for the money they stole from the people of Almaty.”

Trump’s licensing deals on properties typically involved payment of a fee for the use of his name and a Trump property management firm on-site, and Trump often got a small percentage from the first-time sales of condos too.

Depositions could shed light on whether and how the Trump Organization, through Bayrock Group and its Kazakh investors, benefited in any flow of illicit money.

One court document in a related British case shows Kazakh authorities filed a legal assistance request in 2013 to the U.S. government seeking details on the corporate structure of 15 companies it said were tied to the Khrapunovs, including Bayrock Group Inc. and Bayrock Group LLC.

Thus far, Ilyas Khrapunov has resisted providing evidence, but we look forward to the opportunity to question him about his role in his family’s crimes.

Matthew Schwartz, lawyer for the city of Almaty

The Financial Times reported last October that it had seen documents showing Sater had worked closely with Elvira Kudryashova in 2012, a year before she signed the documents for the three Trump SoHo condos. Kudryashova and Ilyas Khrapunov bought the condos so they could vacation in New York, with the properties offered as hotel rooms when they were not there.

Condos in the Trump SoHo building were developed and sold by Bayrock, which also vetted buyers.

Alan Garten, executive vice president and chief legal officer of the Trump Organization said it “was not responsible for the sale of units at Trump SoHo.”

The condos were bought by three companies that were registered in April 2013 within days of each other with the New York Division of Corporations: Soho 3310 LLC, Soho 3311 LLC and Soho 3203 LLC. They were dissolved the following year after the properties sold.

Court records show Kudryashova transferred a total of $3.1 million from a Wells Fargo account for the condo purchases. Bank documents also show her receiving large sums from an offshore company that used the Cyprus lender Federal Bank of the Middle East, which was headquartered in Tanzania. The Treasury Department blacklisted that bank as a “Primary Money Laundering Concern” on July 22, 2014.

A New York court decision in early May granted Almaty access to certain Khrapunovs-related bank transfers from abroad, and that could provide more details about the flow of their money into luxury properties that were held for short periods.

These sorts of purchases led the U.S. Treasury Department last year to begin a project to identify the true owners of shell companies that held luxury real estate in Miami and New York. It was later expanded to large cities in California and Texas.

Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, cautioned that “these efforts have a long way to go before the federal government has the tools it needs to stop money laundering through shady real estate deals and anonymous shell companies.”

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article gave the wrong law firm for John Kenney, who is with Hoguet Newman Regal & Kenney.

This story involved collaboration between McClatchy and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, a global journalism network that investigates transnational corruption.

Paluch is a special correspondent.




Moscow’s Igor Sergun: Cong. Rohrabacher to your ‘Like Button’

One part of this Moscow mess began in 2012, when the FBI held a private session with Congressman Dana Rohrahacher, (CA), Mike Rogers, Michigan, and according to one former official, Representative C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger, telling them they were the targets of Russian influence and possible targets of recruiting.

Of note, Igor Sergun died in January of 2016, but his operations were already underway.

Image result for igor sergun

Sergun is credited as an important figure in the renaissance of the GRU, which had suffered deep staff and budget cuts prior to his arrival. Under Sergun, the agency regained political power within the Russian government as well as control over the Spetsnaz special forces, making it “crucial in the seizure of Crimea and operations in the Donbas,” as well as “as the lead agency for dealing with violent non-state actors.”

Perhaps the United States should take a hard look at the actions Ukraine has taken regarding Russian intrusion.

Poroshenko this week ordered Ukrainian Internet providers to block Vkontakte and Odnoclassniki. The sites are similar to Facebook and are two of the most popular social networking sites in the former Soviet space.

More than 25 million Ukrainians, in a country of about 43 million people, use the Russian sites to connect with friends, join groups and use the online messaging systems.

Poroshenko said the new restrictions were necessary to further protect Ukraine from Kremlin hybrid warfare, including disinformation campaigns, propaganda and military attacks. The two neighbors and former Soviet republics have been embroiled in a brutal, three-year war that has killed more than 10,000 people and displaced about 1.7 million eastern Ukrainians.

Supporters of the ban said it would also protect Ukrainians from the Russian security services’ ability to monitor and gather metadata from the sites’ users. Ukrainian government officials said the sites are closely monitored by Russia’s FSB, the successor agency to the KGB. More here from LATimes.

One must take the time to see the evidence the domestic intelligence agencies and private cyber companies along with data analysis experts are uncovering and studying. Further, since we citizens cannot attend meetings, some in classified settings that are held in Congress and we don’t get any information from the investigations, there are some interviews with professionals that are sounding the alarm bells.

Are you sick of Russia and hearing about Putin? Sure you are, but so is our government and other global leaders, rightly so. You are going to have to understand some facts and buckle in….there is more to come. Until the United States crafts a policy, decides on responses and pass legislation, Russia has nothing to stop their actions. What actions?

In part from Time: On March 2, a disturbing report hit the desks of U.S. counterintelligence officials in Washington. For months, American spy hunters had scrambled to uncover details of Russia’s influence operation against the 2016 presidential election. In offices in both D.C. and suburban Virginia, they had created massive wall charts to track the different players in Russia’s multipronged scheme. But the report in early March was something new.

It described how Russia had already moved on from the rudimentary email hacks against politicians it had used in 2016. Now the Russians were running a more sophisticated hack on Twitter. The report said the Russians had sent expertly tailored messages carrying malware to more than 10,000 Twitter users in the Defense Department. Depending on the interests of the targets, the messages offered links to stories on recent sporting events or the Oscars, which had taken place the previous weekend. When clicked, the links took users to a Russian-controlled server that downloaded a program allowing Moscow’s hackers to take control of the victim’s phone or computer–and Twitter account.

As they scrambled to contain the damage from the hack and regain control of any compromised devices, the spy hunters realized they faced a new kind of threat. In 2016, Russia had used thousands of covert human agents and robot computer programs to spread disinformation referencing the stolen campaign emails of Hillary Clinton, amplifying their effect. Now counterintelligence officials wondered: What chaos could Moscow unleash with thousands of Twitter handles that spoke in real time with the authority of the armed forces of the United States? At any given moment, perhaps during a natural disaster or a terrorist attack, Pentagon Twitter accounts might send out false information. As each tweet corroborated another, and covert Russian agents amplified the messages even further afield, the result could be panic and confusion.


Americans generate a vast trove of data on what they think and how they respond to ideas and arguments–literally thousands of expressions of belief every second on Twitter, Facebook, Reddit and Google. All of those digitized convictions are collected and stored, and much of that data is available commercially to anyone with sufficient computing power to take advantage of it.

That’s where the algorithms come in. American researchers have found they can use mathematical formulas to segment huge populations into thousands of subgroups according to defining characteristics like religion and political beliefs or taste in TV shows and music. Other algorithms can determine those groups’ hot-button issues and identify “followers” among them, pinpointing those most susceptible to suggestion. Propagandists can then manually craft messages to influence them, deploying covert provocateurs, either humans or automated computer programs known as bots, in hopes of altering their behavior.

That is what Moscow is doing, more than a dozen senior intelligence officials and others investigating Russia’s influence operations tell TIME. The Russians “target you and see what you like, what you click on, and see if you’re sympathetic or not sympathetic,” says a senior intelligence official. Whether and how much they have actually been able to change Americans’ behavior is hard to say. But as they have investigated the Russian 2016 operation, intelligence and other officials have found that Moscow has developed sophisticated tactics.

In May 2016, a Russian military intelligence officer bragged to a colleague that his organization, known as the GRU, was getting ready to pay Clinton back for what President Vladimir Putin believed was an influence operation she had run against him five years earlier as Secretary of State. The GRU, he said, was going to cause chaos in the upcoming U.S. election.

What the officer didn’t know, senior intelligence officials tell TIME, was that U.S. spies were listening. They wrote up the conversation and sent it back to analysts at headquarters, who turned it from raw intelligence into an official report and circulated it. But if the officer’s boast seems like a red flag now, at the time U.S. officials didn’t know what to make of it. “We didn’t really understand the context of it until much later,” says the senior intelligence official. Investigators now realize that the officer’s boast was the first indication U.S. spies had from their sources that Russia wasn’t just hacking email accounts to collect intelligence but was also considering interfering in the vote. Like much of America, many in the U.S. government hadn’t imagined the kind of influence operation that Russia was preparing to unleash on the 2016 election. Fewer still realized it had been five years in the making.

Putin publicly accused then Secretary of State Clinton of running a massive influence operation against his country, saying she had sent “a signal” to protesters and that the State Department had actively worked to fuel the protests. The State Department said it had just funded pro-democracy organizations. Former officials say any such operations–in Russia or elsewhere–would require a special intelligence finding by the President and that Barack Obama was not likely to have issued one.

After his re-election the following year, Putin dispatched his newly installed head of military intelligence, Igor Sergun, to begin repurposing cyberweapons previously used for psychological operations in war zones for use in electioneering. Russian intelligence agencies funded “troll farms,” botnet spamming operations and fake news outlets as part of an expanding focus on psychological operations in cyberspace.

One particularly talented Russian programmer who had worked with social media researchers in the U.S. for 10 years had returned to Moscow and brought with him a trove of algorithms that could be used in influence operations. He was promptly hired by those working for Russian intelligence services, senior intelligence officials tell TIME. “The engineer who built them the algorithms is U.S.-trained,” says the senior intelligence official.

Soon, Putin was aiming his new weapons at the U.S. Following Moscow’s April 2014 invasion of Ukraine, the U.S. considered sanctions that would block the export of drilling and fracking technologies to Russia, putting out of reach some $8.2 trillion in oil reserves that could not be tapped without U.S. technology. As they watched Moscow’s intelligence operations in the U.S., American spy hunters saw Russian agents applying their new social media tactics on key aides to members of Congress. Moscow’s agents broadcast material on social media and watched how targets responded in an attempt to find those who might support their cause, the senior intelligence official tells TIME. “The Russians started using it on the Hill with staffers,” the official says, “to see who is more susceptible to continue this program [and] to see who would be more favorable to what they want to do.”

Finish reading this remarkable report here. There is much more detail, including cyber operations, candidates, analysis and concocted political scandals. If one wonders why there is yet no evidence presented yet by the FBI and what the members of Congress are told, you now have a clue. This investigative process is a very long one and attributions as well as analysis is cumbersome and heavy on expert resources.




Anthony Weiner Pled Guilty, Wont Appeal Sentence

It could be Anthony Weiner, the now estranged husband of Huma Abedin, Hillary’s long time aid, will serve at least 21 months. He will likely have to register as a sex offender.

Weiner stood in a suit in federal court in Manhattan, sobbing as he described how he met a stranger online he “knew to be 15 years old.” Weiner is set to be sentenced Sept. 8. Weiner’s lawyers negotiated with federal prosecutors to avoid child pornography charges.

The charge file is here.

Image result for anthony weiner in court DailyBeast

Anthony Weiner Pleads Guilty In Manhattan Federal Court To Transferring Obscene Material To A Minor

Joon H. Kim, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York and William F. Sweeney Jr., the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) announced that ANTHONY WEINER was charged with, and pled guilty to, transferring obscene material to a minor.  WEINER surrendered to the FBI in New York this morning, pled guilty before United States District Judge Loretta A. Preska, and was released on bail pending sentencing.  Sentencing has been scheduled for September 8, 2017, at 11 a.m.

Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said: “Today, former Congressman Anthony Weiner admitted and pled guilty to sending sexually explicit images and directions to engage in sexual conduct to a girl he knew to be 15 years old. Weiner’s conduct was not only reprehensible, but a federal crime, one for which he is now convicted and will be sentenced. We thank the FBI and the NYPD for their work in this investigation.”

FBI Assistant Director in Charge William F. Sweeney Jr. said: “We work every day in the FBI and law enforcement to stop adults from preying on vulnerable children. Our partnership with the NYPD cannot be stressed enough in this case, and we would like to thank the Special Victims Unit for all the work and effort they put into this investigation.”

According to the Information filed in Manhattan federal court today and statements made in Court during today’s plea proceeding, between in or about January and March 2016, WEINER used online messaging and video chat applications to communicate with a minor girl he knew to be 15 years old (the “Minor Victim”).  In the course of those communications, WEINER transferred obscene material to the Minor Victim, including directions to engage in sexual conduct and sexually explicit images.

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WEINER, 52, of New York, New York, has pled guilty to one count of transferring obscenity to a minor, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.  The maximum potential sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the Judge.

Mr. Kim praised the investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Special Victims Division of the New York City Police Department.

The case is being handled by the Office’s General Crimes unit.  Assistant United States Attorneys Amanda Kramer and Stephanie Lake are in charge of the prosecution.

Mueller, Zebley, Quarles Named Special Counsel, Russia Probe

It is important to note, this is not a special prosecution team, it is a legal investigative team. All three lawyers have formally resigned their positions, which is required from the law firm Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr.

Image result for robert mueller Robert Mueller

From the National Law Journal in part: Zebley was Mueller’s former chief of staff at the FBI and Quarles worked as an assistant special prosecutor for the Watergate investigation. Mueller worked on a range of issues including cybersecurity, criminal litigation and internal investigations. Last year, he was appointed to oversee settlement negotiations in class action lawsuits over Volkswagen A.G.’s emissions scandal.

The task of this team is solely to investigate the matter of Trump’s campaign operatives having any cooperation or interaction with any Russian entities into the campaign infrastructure in 2016.

Mueller served as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California prior to joining the FBI. He graduated from Princeton University in 1966 and went on to receive his J.D. from the University of Virginia. Mueller has gained the approval of the ACLU, former Attorney General and head of Main Justice, Eric Holder as well as many democrats in both chambers of Congress.

Another partner at the law firm, is Reginald Brown, who worked in the Bush White House and runs the firm’s financial institutions group and congressional investigations practice, is advising Paul Manafort as of this spring. Manafort, who ran Trump’s presidential campaign for six months, may be ensnared in the Russia investigation because of a consulting client he represented in Ukraine who had ties to the Kremlin.

Top Clinton administration alumni at Wilmer include former Solicitor General Seth Waxman and former Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick, who’s boosted her own resume in recent months by advising Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner on government ethics.

“I determined that it is in the public interest for me to exercise my authorities and appoint a special counsel to assume responsibility for this matter,” Mr. Rosenstein said in a statement. “My decision is not a finding that crimes have been committed or that any prosecution is warranted. I have made no such determination.”

While a special counsel would remain ultimately answerable to Mr. Rosenstein — and by extension, the president — he would have greater autonomy to run an investigation than a United States attorney would. Mr. Mueller will be able to choose to what extent to consult with or inform the Justice Department about his investigation as it goes forward.

“He’s an absolutely superb choice,” said Kathryn Ruemmler, a former prosecutor and White House counsel under Mr. Obama. “He will just do a completely thorough investigation without regard to public pressure or political pressure.”

She added: “I cannot think of a better choice.”

John S. Pistole, who served as the F.B.I.’s deputy director under Mr. Mueller, also praised the appointment.

“You need an independent assessment of what the president has done, how he has done it and perhaps why he has done it,” said Mr. Pistole, who is now president of Anderson University in Indiana. “The appointment of Director Mueller is exactly what is needed to attempt to bring credibility to the White House when there are so many questions about the president’s actions and motives.”

The order to appoint Mr. Mueller was signed by Mr. Rosenstein on Wednesday, drawing on a regulation granting the attorney general the authority to appoint a special counsel for only the second time in history. The first time it was used was in 1999 by Janet Reno, who appointed Jack Danforth, a former Republican senator from Missouri, to lead an investigation into the botched federal raid on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Tex., in 1993 that killed 76 people.

In his capacity as special counsel, Mr. Mueller will be able to request additional resources for the investigation. Those requests will be reviewed by Lee Lofthus, assistant attorney general for administration. More here.

The Trump White House only had this response to the naming of this team:

There is no information that has been released how this legal team will address matters relating to Hillary Clinton, John Podesta or other related issues. It should be noted that only last week, did the Senate Democrats that are also part of a Senate Intelligence Committee investigation on similar Russian probes hired April Doss. Doss held an early career at the NSA and just resigned also from her law firm of Saul Ewing.

Image result for april doss saul

Both Mueller’s law firm and Doss’ law firm each has legal specialties in the cyber industry.

One last item, since Paul Manafort was mentioned above:

Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort took out a $3.5 million mortgage through a shell company just after leaving the campaign, but the mortgage document that explains how he would pay it back was never filed — and Manafort’s company never paid $36,000 in taxes that would be due on the loan.

Image result for paul manafort

On August 19, 2016, Manafort left the Trump campaign amid media reports about his previous work for a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine, including allegations he received millions of dollars in payments.

That same day, Manafort created a holding company called Summerbreeze LLC. Several weeks later, a document called a UCC filed with the state of New York shows that Summerbreeze took out a $3.5 million loan on Manafort’s home in the tony beach enclave of Bridgehampton.

Manafort’s name does not appear on the UCC filing, but Summerbreeze LLC gives his Florida address as a contact, and lists his Bridgehampton home as collateral.