On an episode of The Apprentice, Donald Trump announces a new project: Trump Soho condominiums. The winner of this season of the show will co-manage the property with Ivanka Trump when it’s completed in 2008 (it isn’t finished until 2010). But here’s the catch:
Trump SoHo was a collaborative effort between Trump, the Sapir Organization, and two mafia criminals named Felix Sater and Tevfik Arif, both executives at the Bayrock Group investment firm Trump signed with in 2002. Bayrock carried out a $50 million investment into Trump SoHo from their partner FL Group, the preferred bank of Putin-supporting Russian oligarchs for money laundering and foreign influence.
As part of Trump’s deal with Bayrock and Sapir, the SoHo project is more a criminal complex than a Trump one; all he has to do for the development is allow the group to use his name. Once development is finished, Trump will take over the building management. More accurately, Ivanka and the winner of his reality show will. Trump’s interest is focused on other countries.
Emails and testimony in several lawsuits show that Mr. Sater and Mr. Arif worked closely with Mr. Trump and others in the Trump Organization. Mr. Trump was particularly taken with Mr. Arif’s overseas connections. In a deposition, Mr. Trump said that the two had discussed “numerous deals all over the world” and that Mr. Arif had brought potential Russian investors to Mr. Trump’s office to meet him.The New York Times
For more on Felix Sater, Tevfik Arif, and Tamir Sapir, click to the next post.
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