Federal investigators are suspicious of wire transfers dating back to 2012 linking to former Trump campaign manager, Paul Manafort.
According to a detailed report by Buzzfeed, Manafort moved more than $3 million in offshore accounts around the world between 2012 and 2013.
Clearly @BuzzFeedNews didn’t sleep last night. Incredible reporting on the #Manafort scandal. https://t.co/aCXUYXGNTX— Jen Miller (@Jen Miller) 1509290900.0
Law enforcers launched an investigation looking into the shady activity back in 2012 to rule out Manafort hiding tax money from the government or if he helped the ousted Ukranian president, who was a close ally of Vladimir Putin, launder millions of dollars in corrupt transactions.
Manafort's suspicious past sparked a renewed interest as the Trump administration is continually under investigation of possible collusion with Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign.
He came to prominence as a political consultant for Republicans Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and Bob Dole. In 2016, Manafort served as Donald Trump's campaign manager, but his tenure only lasted three months when he was forced to leave Trump's campaign team in August 2016 due to his involvement with the ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who is currently living in exile.
Law enforcement agents had to draft a series of “intelligence reports” due to Manafort's vast and complicated list of transactions that raised red flags in banking transactions totaling millions of dollars dating back as far as 2004.
Manafort has denied the allegations made against him with his financial dealings.
Buzzfeed News focused on 13 specific transactions that were of particular interest.
The FBI's investigation of Trump's former campaign manager includes a keen focus on wire transfers which moved $3M+. https://t.co/RaaG5LooKI— Citizens for Ethics (@Citizens for Ethics) 1509309800.0
Although American financial institutions "flagged" the transfers, as part of an obligatory protocol of reporting anything suspicious to the Treasury Department, there was no evidence of illegal activity.
Authorities found there were five unusual transactions, including Lucicle Consultants Ltd, which sent 2.5 million in funds linked to Manafort; Manafort: Global Endeavour Inc., where $500,000 was wired to the Ukraine in September 2013; and an additional three companies with mysteriously unnamed contacts. The origin of the transactions took place in countries synonymous with money laundering, notably Cyprus and the Caribbean nation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
@RVAwonk @JasonLeopold Wire transfers thru Bank of Cyprus. I forget. Who was Bank of Cyprus Vice Chairman? Oh, righ… https://t.co/61lIuo9ggi— Peter Steinfeld (@Peter Steinfeld) 1509302389.0
Global Endeavour also wired $200,000 to a Long Island remodeling company called SP&C Home Improvement in late 2013. The company's representative, Stephen Jacobsen, told Buzzfeed that the money was an advance to fund a project.
Buzzfeed looked into said project:
"That project, at 377 Union Street in Brooklyn, has been the subject of media reports. The brownstone in the Carroll Gardens neighborhood first belonged to a company controlled by Manafort and his son-in-law, Jeffrey Yohai. The Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism is investigating Yohai and requested from FinCEN in June any suspicious financial transactions in which he is named, according to a copy of a letter reviewed by BuzzFeed News. He declined to comment."
That development is still unfinished four years later. Workers not employed by SP&C worked on site recently, and its architect said it was 65% complete.
Other unreported wire transfers were flagged as suspicious. No charges were filed against Manafort and the case lay dormant, but never closed.
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