19 Duck Pond Lane, 515 Park Ave., Bank of Cyprus, boxes, Deutsche Bank, FBI, FBI raid, Fisher Island, Florida, Gary Cohn, Lucerne, Matthias Warnig, Miami, Michael Cohen, Michael Flynn, Mueller investigation, New York, NordStream, NYC, Oerlikon, Putin, Renova Group, RT news gala, RUSAL, Russia, Schmolz + Bickenbach, Schwyz, search, shell companies, Southampton estate, Southampton mansion, Stasi, steel, Sulzer, superyacht, Switzerland, Tango, Trump, Trump inauguration, Trump transition, Vekselberg, Wilbur Ross, Winterthur, yacht
What appears to be Russian oligarch-tycoon Vekselberg at Trump Tower in 2017.
What appears to be Russian oligarch Vekselberg, and his cousin Andrew Intrater (of Columbus Nova), who arrive at 6:48 and leave at 7:18 (30 minutes). They go up elevator 1 and come down elevator 4. Clips: https://www.c-span.org/video/?c4731532/pay-play-russian-oligarch-viktor-vekselberg https://www.c-span.org/video/?c4731534/pay-play-russian-oligarch-viktor-vekselberg At around 4:26, what appears to be Trump Economic Advisor-former Goldman Sachs banker, Gary Cohn arrives, as does Michael Cohen ca 4:32 (Trump lawyer). As Michael Cohen goes up, a young Jewish man in what appears to be ultra-orthodox attire comes down. Entire video: https://www.c-span.org/video/?421399-1/pool-feed-trump-tower-lobby https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_Cohn_(investment_banker)- https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2018/05/26/russian-oligarch-and-cousin-meet-trump-lawyer-michael-cohen-at-trump-tower-days-before-trump-inauguration-prior-to-1-million-contract/
“Federal Agents Search U.S. Properties Of Russian Tycoon Vekselberg
September 02, 2022 By RFE/RL’s Russian Service
Federal agents in the United States have searched several properties linked to Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg, whose superyacht was seized in Spain earlier this year at the request of the United States.
The FBI said on September 1 that its agents and officers of Homeland Security searched a Park Avenue high-rise apartment in New York, an estate in Southampton, New York, and the enclave of Fisher Island in Miami, Florida.
No further details were provided, while the mentioned properties are believed to be linked to the 65-year-old Vekselberg, who is known as a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
There was no immediate comment from either Vekselberg or his representatives.
In April, Spanish police seized a superyacht worth around $120 million that belonged to Vekselberg following a request from the United States, which alleges the vessel violates U.S. bank fraud, money laundering, and sanction statutes.
The U.S. investigation alleges that Vekselberg bought the yacht, named the Tango, in 2011 and has owned it since then. It also alleges that Vekselberg used shell companies to hide his interest in the Tango to avoid bank oversight into U.S.-dollar transactions related to it.
Vekselberg, a billionaire with ties to Russia’s mining industry, and those working on his behalf made payments through U.S. banks for the support and maintenance of the Tango, the warrant for the seizure of the yacht said. This included a payment for a December 2020 stay at a luxury resort in the Maldives and mooring fees for the yacht.
Vekselberg was first sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department in April 2018. More sanctions were added on March 12 of this year following the start of Russia’s ongoing unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.
It was one of several superyachts linked to a Russian billionaire to be impounded as part of Europe’s efforts to pressure Russian President Putin to pull out of Ukraine.
With reporting by NBC and CBS
Copyright (c)2022 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036
“FBI officials and Homeland Security Investigation agents were seen carrying boxes out of Vekselberg’s 515 Park Ave. apartment building and his Southampton mansion at 19 Duck Pond Lane, according to NBC New York, which first reported the searches”. https://nypost.com/2022/09/01/feds-raid-russian-oligarch-viktor-vekselbergs-nyc-apartment-hamptons-mansion/
Apparently Vekselberg is no longer affiliated with Bank of Cyprus; Cohen went to jail, flipped against Trump and is obviously no longer his lawyer.
From 2018 post. Not updated.
NYTimes: “At Trump Tower, Michael Cohen and Oligarch Discussed Russian Relations: The meeting, which took place 11 days before the inauguration, preceded a $1 million contract Mr. Cohen received from a firm tied to the Russian oligarch“. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/25/us/politics/michael-cohen-viktor-vekselberg-trump-tower.html
Reports the Washington Post: “Later that month, Cohen signed a lucrative consulting contract with Intrater’s investment firm, Columbus Nova. Company officials have said that Vekselberg, who is Columbus Nova’s biggest client, played no role in Cohen’s hiring.” See “Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg met with Trump lawyer Michael Cohen days before the inauguration” https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/russian-billionaire-viktor-vekselberg-met-with-trump-lawyer-michael-cohen-days-before-the-inauguration/2018/05/25/ab18eadc-602a-11e8-9ee3-49d6d4814c4c_story.html. There has been some debate as to whether Columbus Nova is a subsidiary of Vekselberg’s Renova, or not.
NYTimes: “Viktor Vekselberg, Russian Billionaire, Was Questioned by Mueller’s Investigators https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/04/us/politics/viktor-vekselberg-mueller-investigation.html
Trump Commerce Secretary pick, Wilbur Ross, helped Trump keep control of his Casinos in the 1980s. Up until March 1, 2017, he was Vice-Chairman of the Board of the Bank of Cyprus. The largest shareholder of Bank of Cyprus is Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg. His Renova Group has been involved in aluminium, oil, energy, telecoms and a variety of other sectors, such as airport management-construction. Their web site lists them as involved in metallurgy, energy, development, telecommunications and nanotechnolgies.
The Chairman of the Board of Bank of Cyprus (BOC), since November 2014, has been Swiss Banker (St. Gallen born and educated) Josef Ackermann, who “was elected as chairman of the board of directors of the Bank of Cyprus following the proposal of the new major shareholder of the bank Wilbur Ross.“ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josef_Ackermann
Ackermann was head of Deutsche Bank – a major lender to Trump – when it was involved in questionable Mirror Trades, which involved Russia and Cyprus shell companies (and London, New York, etc.) https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2017/02/28/trump-lender-deutsche-bank-fined-for-mirror-trading-10-billion-russian-money-laundering-scheme/
As of March 31, 2016, Lamesa Holding – affiliate of Viktor Vekselberg’s Renova Group – held 9.9% of the Bank of Cyprus (3.5% directly and 6.4% indirectly), according to the Bank of Cyprus web site. According to a New York Times article on Trump Commerce Secretary Pick, Wilbur Ross, and the Bank of Cyprus, “The only Russian with a prominent role in the bank today is Viktor Vekselberg, a billionaire businessman who bought shares in 2014, around the same time as Mr. Ross. Like all wealthy business people still working in Russia, Mr. Vekselberg has maintained good relations with the Kremlin…” https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/06/world/europe/wilbur-ross-russia-bank-of-cyprus.html
Vekselberg was at Trump’s inauguration. He was also at the Kremlin funded RT news dinner, in December 2015, in Russia, which Michael Flynn and Putin attended. Vekselberg’s cousin and CEO of Columbus Nova, Andrew Intrater, gave $250,000 to Trump’s inauguration fund. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/04/us/politics/viktor-vekselberg-mueller-investigation.html
On Tuesday, March 14, 2017, Reuters reported in “Russia’s Putin meets tycoon Vekselberg: TASS” that Putin held a meeting discussing infrastructure projects in which Vekselberg’s Renova Holding Company is involved. This includes a new airport in Rostov, where part of the FIFA World Cup is to be held in 2018. This article lists Renova assets as in metals and mining, utilities, construction and communications.
Much has been made of Vekselberg’s turning down the offer of a Cyprus passport, but no one has noted his apparently permanent Swiss residency. He has maintained his Russian citizenship, while being eligible for Swiss citizenship if he falls from grace.
Swiss newspaper Tages Anzeiger points out that Vekselberg is a major Swiss industrialist with his Renova group holding 63% of Winterthur’s Sulzer, around 40% of the Schwyz conglomerate Oerlikon and 40% of Lucerne steelmaker Schmolz + Bickenbach. (Tages Anzeiger, April 7, 2018)
In February, Zonoville Investments Ltd, composed of investors led by Vekselberg’s Renova and Blavatnik’s Access Industries, agreed to buy 6% of Rusal from Onexim (Feb. 19, 2018). This brought Zonoville and SUAL Partners (co-owned by Vekselberg (and unknown) ownership of Rusal to 26.5%. Deripaska still owns around 48% of Rusal via EN+. The Chairman of the Board of Rusal is former Stasi agent and old friend of Putin, Matthias Warnig, who is CEO of Nord Stream (also Zug Switzerland based)… More here- https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2018/05/26/russian-oligarch-and-cousin-meet-trump-lawyer-michael-cohen-at-trump-tower-days-before-trump-inauguration-prior-to-1-million-contract/
“FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, April 4, 2022
$90 Million Yacht of Sanctioned Russian Oligarch Viktor Vekselberg Seized by Spain at Request of United States
Action Took Place Today in Palma de Mallorca
WASHINGTON – Spanish law enforcement today executed a Spanish court order freezing the Motor Yacht (M/Y) Tango (the Tango), a 255-foot luxury yacht owned by sanctioned Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg. Spanish authorities acted pursuant to a request from the U.S. Department of Justice for assistance following the issuance of a seizure warrant, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, which alleged that the Tango was subject to forfeiture based on violation of U.S. bank fraud, money laundering, and sanction statutes.
According to documents filed in this case, the U.S. investigation alleges that Vekselberg bought the Tango in 2011 and has owned it continuously since that time. It further alleges that Vekselberg used shell companies to obfuscate his interest in the Tango to avoid bank oversight into U.S. dollar transactions related thereto. Additionally, after Vekselberg was sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department on April 6, 2018, the warrant alleges that Vekselberg and those working on his behalf continued to make U.S. dollar payments through U.S. banks for the support and maintenance of the Tango and its owners, including a payment for a December 2020 stay at a luxury water villa resort in the Maldives and mooring fees for the yacht. Vekselberg had an interest in these payments and therefore a license was required from the Treasury Department, which was not obtained.
“Today marks our taskforce’s first seizure of an asset belonging to a sanctioned individual with close ties to the Russian regime. It will not be the last.” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “Together, with our international partners, we will do everything possible to hold accountable any individual whose criminal acts enable the Russian government to continue its unjust war.”
“Today’s action makes clear that corrupt Russian oligarchs cannot evade sanctions to live a life of luxury as innocent Ukrainians are suffering,” said Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco. “Today the Department of Justice delivers on our commitment to hold accountable those whose criminal activity strengthens the Russian government as it continues to wage its unjust war in Ukraine. That commitment is one we are not finished honoring.”
“Today we announce another example of the FBI using our worldwide presence and partnerships, as well as our expertise and experience to track and seize illicit money and assets, to counter threats to our safety and national security,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray. “We will continue to use every lawful tool to go after designated Russian oligarchs’ assets – however and wherever they hide them.”
The seizure was coordinated through the Justice Department’s Task Force KleptoCapture, an interagency law enforcement task force dedicated to enforcing the sweeping sanctions, export restrictions, and economic countermeasures that the United States has imposed, along with its allies and partners, in response to Russia’s unprovoked military invasion of Ukraine. Announced by the Attorney General on March 2 and run out of the Office of the Deputy Attorney General, the task force will leverage all the Department’s tools and authorities against efforts to evade or undermine the economic actions taken by the U.S. government in response to Russian military aggression.
“The seizure of this luxury yacht demonstrates our determination to hold accountable those who support Vladimir Putin’s unwarranted invasion of another sovereign nation,” said U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves of the District of Columbia. “We will continue to use every tool to enforce the sanctions aimed at Putin’s regime and the oligarchs who support it. Working with our federal and international partners, we will be unflagging in our efforts to bring to justice those who violate these sanctions, and to seize assets where appropriate and lawful.”
“Today’s seizure of Viktor Vekselberg’s yacht, the Tango, in Spain is the result of an unprecedented multinational effort to enforce U.S. sanctions targeting those elites who have enabled Russia’s unprovoked and illegal invasion of Ukraine,” said Director Andrew Adams of Task Force KleptoCapture. “For those who have tied their fortunes to a brutal and lawless regime, today’s action is a message that those nations dedicated to the rule of law are equally dedicated to separating the oligarchs from their tainted luxuries. This seizure is only the beginning of the Task Force’s work in this global effort to punish those who have and continue to support tyranny for financial gain.”
“The FBI will continue to work with its partners to protect the integrity of the banking system and support the enforcement of sanctions programs,” said Special Agent in Charge Michael F. Paul of the FBI’s Minneapolis Field Office. “FBI agents and analysts, regardless of where they are assigned around the world, will work tirelessly to ensure those who attempt to evade sanctions are held accountable.”
“The Russian invasion of Ukraine was an unprovoked act of aggression that has targeted the lives and well-being of millions of people and threatened international security,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Ricky J. Patel of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) New York. “For decades, the Putin regime has been supported by a group of Russian oligarchs that abused their power for private gain to amass untold riches. As DHS’s investigative arm, HSI stands at the forefront of combatting global networks that seek to violate U.S. law and exploit our nation’s financial systems. Working with our partners at the U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI, we will hold Putin’s oligarchs accountable and deny them the lavish lifestyles they cherish.”
Upon receipt of a request from the United States pursuant to a bi-lateral treaty for mutual legal assistance in criminal matters, the Spanish central authority for mutual legal assistance forwarded the request to a Spanish prosecutor, who obtained a freezing order from a Spanish court. The order was executed by Spain’s Guardia Civil, Spanish National Police, today, April 4.
The Tango, International Maritime Organization number 1010703, is believed to be worth approximately $90 million or more. The yacht is now in Palma de Mallorca.
The burden to prove forfeitability in a forfeiture proceeding is upon the government.
Separately, seizure warrants obtained in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia target approximately $625,000 associated with sanctioned parties held at nine U.S. financial institutions. Those seizures are based on sanctions violations by several Russian specially designated nationals.
The matter of the Tango is being investigated by the FBI’s Minneapolis Field Office with assistance from the HSI New York Field Office. In announcing that forfeiture action, U.S. Attorney Graves, Special Agent in Charge Paul, and Acting Special Agent in Charge Patel commended the work of those who investigated the case from FBI and HSI.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen P. Seifert is handling the seizure and investigation, with assistance from Paralegal Specialist Brian Rickers and Legal Assistant Jessica McCormick, all from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs provided significant assistance in working with the Spanish authorities, as well as the Criminal Division’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section (MLARS).
Download Tango Affidavit
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
Office of the Attorney General
Office of the Deputy Attorney General
USAO – District of Columbia
Press Release Number:
Updated April 6, 2022”