Felix Sater: Mafia, Trump, FBI, CIA, and Money Laundering

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The date for this post was chosen based on the date of the previous post and is not reflective of a specific event in Felix Sater’s life.

Felix Sater is one of the criminals operating Bayrock Group, the organization responsible for the development of Trump SoHo and other Trump properties.

He was born in Russia in 1966 but moved to Israel in 1973. Within 12 months, the family relocated to Brighton Beach, New York, where his father (Mikhail Sheferovsky) worked as an international underboss for Semion Mogilevich. Sheferovsky was convicted for extortion in 2000 along with an accomplice from the Genovese crime family.

Felix Sater was convicted in 1993 for stabbing a man in the face with broken glass during a New York bar fight.

A few years later, he was implicated in the creation of a fraudulent stock brokerage, White Rock Partners, that was used to launder money and defraud investors by manipulating the price of securities in the market. He was protected by his father’s and Mogilevich’s Genovese associates in 1995 when the Gambino crime family, also involved in stock market schemes, tried to extort him.

Sater avoided charges by fleeing to Russia.

At some point, Sater attempted to earn the Central Intelligence Agency’s favor by offering to purchase antiaircraft weapons from the Soviet Union black market, supposedly up for sell by Osama Bin Laden. It could just be a coincidence that Semion Mogilevich began acquiring antiaircraft weapon factories a few years earlier.

The deal was not made, but Sater did become an informant for the FBI on issues related to Wall Street and black market missiles, and he was free to return to the United States without fear of going to prison.

According to a 2020 U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee report, Sater was able to help the FBI by relying on a large network of contacts in military, intelligence, and government positions primarily in Russia. Sater likely maintained this network while working down the hall from Donald Trump.

“This arrangement, and Sater’s office space on the 26th floor of Trump Tower only several offices away from Trump, gave Sater greater access to Trump, allowing Sater the ability to see Trump frequently and ‘pitch’ business opportunities to him,” the report explains. “During this time, Trump would see Sater every day, generally more than once. In general, Sater recalled that he had interacted with Trump ‘hundreds’ of times over the course of their relationship.”










Photo: Jeenah Moon/For The Washington Post

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