Donald Trump sells mansion to Russian oligarch, he thinks Putin

The Trump Timeline

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Donald Trump sells a Palm Beach mansion he’s never lived in for twice the amount he bought it for. The buyer is a Russian oligarch, Dmitry Rybolovlev.

Trump bought the property for $41 million in 2004 (beating Jeffrey Epstein). Rybolovlev pays Trump $95 million. A couple years later, a Palm Beach County appraisal determines it’s only worth $59.8 million. Money laundering?

According to Trump’s fixer, Michael Cohen, Trump believes that Rybolovlev is simply a middle man for Vladimir Putin.

After Trump sold a Palm Beach mansion he purchased for $41 million to a Russian oligarch named Dmitry Rybolovlev for $95 million in 2008, Cohen says, Trump told Cohen he believed the real buyer was Putin.

CNN, reporting on Michael Cohen’s 2020 book

Rybolovlev breaks down the mansion and sells the property for parts in 2016, 2017, and 2019. At no point between 2008 and 2017 does he ever live at the property.

Time brings a lot of speculation to the purchase, particularly because of Trump’s other known ties to Russian oligarchs and the unthinkable profit Trump made from the sell.

Why did Rybolovlev make this deal? There was publicity about a messy divorce and speculation that Rybolovlev was hiding assets from his wife (the divorce was not filed until five months after the purchase). Alternatively, he may have made the purchase as an investment.

Either way, the whole point would be to get his money back at some point. Overpaying for the property makes no sense. Nor does his complete failure to conduct even the most rudimentary due diligence.

There must have been another reason — a reason to give Trump tens of millions of dollars with no expectation of a financial return. One possibility is that Russian leader Vladimir Putin saw an opportunity to exploit Trump’s financial problems to obtain his loyalty and indebtedness.

San Francisco Chronicle

The Russian billionaire is also financially connected to Wilbur Ross, Trump’s Secretary of Commerce, through the Bank of Cyprus.

Rybolovlev was arrested and spent 11 months in jail in 1996 for plotting to murder another wealthy businessman. After 2008, he is involved in multiple financial scandals.

Sources

Investigate Russia (Archived)

Mansion Global (Archived)

https://www.SF Chronicle (Archived)

Rybolovlev Wikipedia Page, Archived

McClatchy DC (Archived)

Photo: Wikipedia

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