Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Saturday, January 13, 2018

More than one-fifth of Donald Trump's US condominiums have been purchased since the 1980s in secretive, all-cash transactions that enable buyers to avoid legal scrutiny by shielding their finances and identities, a BuzzFeed News investigation has found. Records show that more than 1,300 Trump condominiums were bought not by people but by shell companies, and that the purchases were made without a mortgage, avoiding inquiries from lenders. Those two characteristics signal that a buyer may be laundering money, the Treasury Department has said in a series of statements since 2016. All-cash purchases by shell companies do not by themselves indicate illegal or improper activity, and they have become more common in recent years in both Trump buildings and other luxury home sales across the United States.

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Trump condo sales that match Treasury's characteristics of possible money laundering totaled $1.5 billion, BuzzFeed News calculated. They accounted for 21% of the 6,400 Trump condos sold in the US. Some of the secretive sales date back more than three decades, long before recent worries that Russians tried to influence Trump by pouring millions of dollars into his businesses. But a months-long BuzzFeed News examination of every Trump condominium sale in the US shows that such sales surged in the late 2000s and early 2010s, when some Trump businesses were in financial trouble and when Donald Trump Jr. made his now-famous remark about the Trump Organization seeing "a lot of money pouring in from Russia."

The surge was driven by the opening of 11 Trump condo buildings between 2008 and 2010 as Trump shifted his real-estate business from developing high-rises to licensing them. Nine were Trump-licensed, and they drew hundreds of shell companies that paid an average of $1.2 million in cash for a condo. In six of the licensed buildings, cash-paying shell companies bought at least a third of the condos, records show.

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Interesting tidbit that makes one wonder whether it was involved in today's biggest story as you look at this as a proven, documented fact:

At least two Trump Tower condos have been linked to money laundering, although there is no evidence that Trump or the Trump Organization was involved.

The Haitian government claimed in the 1980s that ousted dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier laundered stolen treasury funds when he bought Trump Tower apartment 54-K for $446,875 in August 1983. Duvalier used a Panama shell company called Lasa Trade and Finance to buy the apartment in cash. Trump signed the deed of sale.

In 1984, federal prosecutors charged a Russian native living in Brooklyn with taking part in a massive gasoline bootlegging operation and buying five Trump Tower condos for $4.9 million to launder the proceeds. The suspect, David Bogatin, pleaded guilty in 1987. He was released from federal prison in 1998.

#1 | Posted by tonyroma at 2018-01-12 06:13 PM | Reply

Our first mafioso president.

#2 | Posted by Zed at 2018-01-13 07:53 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Looks like Donnie may have been dirty for a very long time. No wonder he doesn't want Mueller prowling around in his financial affairs. Mueller just might find a whole lot of there, there.

#3 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2018-01-13 10:25 AM | Reply

No wonder he won't release his tax returns.

#4 | Posted by Corky at 2018-01-13 12:45 PM | Reply

key word: "may." Without Trump releasing his tax returns, no one will ever know. Which seems to be just fine with his voters.

#5 | Posted by e1g1 at 2018-01-13 01:20 PM | Reply

Without Trump releasing his tax returns, no one will ever know.

Mueller's investigation knows. And hopefully that is why Mueller has the very best money laundering and financial fraud prosecutors in the DOJ already working for him.

#6 | Posted by tonyroma at 2018-01-13 01:39 PM | Reply

TRUMP did say that Mueller would be overstepping his mandate if he got into Trump's finances ~ Trump's red line so to speak. Now we know why.

Money laundering is also Manafort's area of expertise.

Jus sayin'

And didn't Trump lend his name to some condo money laundering schemes in Panama that are also being investigated. And didn't Trump suddenly disavow any connection when the investigation got too close to him? And does that have anything to do with the ambassador's resignation?

Oh what a tangled web we weave.

#7 | Posted by Twinpac at 2018-01-13 03:06 PM | Reply

When they arrest Trump it will be at 3 am and he will ask if he can take his nightly cheeseburger with him.

#8 | Posted by Tor at 2018-01-13 06:08 PM | Reply

This story is just about Trump's US-based properties. The major graft likely resides in his foreign dealings, and there is a reason Trump has no holdings or direct financial ties to Russian real estate: Why would they want to bring a criminal enterprise that they generously use to launder ill-gotten gains into their own backyard should international legal heat come a calling?

Don't believe it? Just take a look at Trump Tower Baku and get back to us. Remember, Trump only does deals with the best people lol....

#9 | Posted by tonyroma at 2018-01-13 06:09 PM | Reply

TONY

Big time money laundering always crosses hemispheres. And don't forget the two new words that Trump has lerned.

Reciprocal and Reciprocity.

#10 | Posted by Twinpac at 2018-01-13 07:29 PM | Reply

TONY

I read your link. Trump pulled the same stunt at a condo project in Panama.

#11 | Posted by Twinpac at 2018-01-13 07:55 PM | Reply

Baku, Panama..and Trump's Taj Mahal in Atlantic City???

There is evidence of excessive costs, kickbacks and cash payments in the Baku Project. Do these kickbacks justify the more substantial investments when a project never opens, like Baku, or is forced into bankruptcy like the Taj Mahal? If Banks are the lender of last resort then they are the losers, not the developers. But if Mammadov family money is tied up in a two hundred million dollar building that never opens, they are the loser. We know they owned their own Bank.

Through it all Trump complains that corruption in Asia is a way of life and American Companies are at a disadvantage imposed by the foreign corrupt practices act. Cheney and the Bechtel family feel the same way. So many other questions, but the rules only apply to little people or those unlucky enough to be caught in a political transfer of power.

#12 | Posted by bayviking at 2018-01-14 10:25 AM | Reply

"Mueller's investigation knows. "

And so will the IRS soon enough.

Donald and Melania might have to find some cheaper digs.

#13 | Posted by Twinpac at 2018-01-14 01:23 PM | Reply

"Mueller's investigation knows. "
And so will the IRS soon enough.
Donald and Melania might have to find some cheaper digs.

#13 | POSTED BY TWINPAC AT 2018-01-14 01:23 PM

Hopefully they have a room at the crossbars hotel.

#14 | Posted by aborted_monson at 2018-01-14 07:12 PM | Reply

ABORTED

Jared the slumlord would find a place for them.

#15 | Posted by Twinpac at 2018-01-14 08:43 PM | Reply

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