Trump World Tower opens, uses mafia to sell condos to Russia

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Sources linked at end of page.


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Sometime in early 2001, Trump World Tower (funded by criminal banks) opens in Manhattan. Between construction beginning in 1999 and the end of 2004, Donald Trump sells at least 65 condos to Russian buyers and the entire 45th floor to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for $4.5 million.

By 2004, a third of the units on floors 76 through 83 — which didn’t sell before the building opened — belong to individuals and companies with money from Russia and its neighboring states.

On the 78th floor: a Russian who once was accused of mob ties and extortion by an oligarch. On the 79th, an Uzbek jeweler investigated for money laundering who was eventually executed on the street in Manhattan. And four floors higher, a pro-Moscow Ukrainian politician whose party hired a Donald Trump adviser.


Some of the mortgages are issued by Semyon “Sam” Kislin, a Ukrainian immigrant, Rudy Giuliani donor, and former KGB spotter who met Trump in the late ’70s. In December 1999, he was outed as working for legendary mafia boss Vyacheslav Ivankov, the “godfather” of Russian organized crime in the US. Ivankov was found living in Trump Tower in 1995.

One individual Kislin provides a mortgage to is Vasily Salygin, who will go on to work with Paul Manafort in the Vladimir Putin-sponsored Ukrainian Party of Regions.

It’s highly unusual for individuals to issue formal mortgages for U.S. luxury real estate, and the tower loans are the only ones Kislin ever made in New York, public records show.


In 2002, when Trump is $4 billion in debt, Kirsanova Realty uses a reception at the Baltschug-Kempinski Hotel in Moscow to pitch condos at Trump World Tower and other Trump properties. The hotel was and is probably still owned by Semion Mogilevich.

Eduard Nektalov, an Uzbekistan-born diamond dealer and money launderer, purchases a unit directly below Kellyanne Conway in 2003 and sells it a month later for a $500,000 profit. He’s able to do this despite being under investigation for smuggling gold to drug cartels in Colombia.

Over a decade later, real estate broker Ilya Reznik tells USA Today that he’s sold dozens of condos in Trump’s Florida properties to Russian buyers. Father-son developers Michael and Gil Dezer believe Russians own at least 10% of the units they’ve built in Trump properties.

External Sources

Bloomberg (Archived)

Washington Post (Archived)

USA Today (Archived)

Foreign Policy (Archived)

Photo: Unknown via NY Nesting

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