T.J. Hawk / Flickr Donald Trump leaking to Sergei Lavrov...
T.J. Hawk / Flickr

Four years after the purchase and during the real estate downturn, Donald Trump sold his Palm Beach estate for more than double what he paid for in 2004.

According to Politico in 2016, Trump couldn’t sell it for the money he wanted and it sat on the market for over 2 years, as the market cooled down big time.

As Politico noted, who was going to buy this property for 3 times his buying price?

Keep in mind, all this was happening during the real estate market crash.

His initial asking price, less than two years after buying it, was $125 million. By the time Trump listed the property, in early 2006, the real estate market was already cooling off. The property sat on the market for about two years as a frustrated Trump churned through real estate brokers and slashed his price 20 percent. It wasn’t at all clear who might pay Trump three times his buying price for a neoclassical palace amid a looming recession.

Who swoops in to buy this overpriced property from Trump?

Dmitry Rybolovev, a Russian oligarch.

Coincidence? It seems shady to me and to Senator Ron Wyden as well.

So let’s fast forward to 2018 and this Newsweek report:

Senator Ron Wyden thinks this transaction smells of money laundering. Wyden also noted that Robert Mueller is probing this very suspicious transaction in his investigation.

Wyden is also requesting Suspicious Activity Reports (SAR) from the Treasury.

SAR reports have to be written and submitted to the Treasury, when a transaction appears to be suspicious. I worked in the financial industry for years and filed many of these SAR reports. IRS audits focus heavily on this type of reporting.

You can bet these reports exist for this transaction.

A Democratic Senator wants the Treasury Department to hand over records relating to President Donald Trump’s sale of a Palm Beach estate which he bought for $41 million to a Russian oligarch for $95 million only four years later.

“It is imperative that Congress follow the money and conduct a thorough investigation into any potential money laundering or other illicit financial dealings between the president, his associates, and Russia,” wrote Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, reported ABC Friday.

Wyden, who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee that is investigating alleged collusion between the Trump camp and Russia, wrote that the transaction between Trump and oligarch Dmitry Rybolovev is being probed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

In the request, he notes the timing of the 2008 sale, which came months after Trump Entertainment Resorts filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and while the then real estate mogul was struggling to find banks willing to lend to him.

Wyden has requested Treasury Department Suspicious Activity Reports on the transaction, which are filed when officials suspect money laundering, and information on who purchased the estate when it was sold off in separate lots by Rybolovev to buyers operating through offshore companies.

To sum up:

During the real estate downturn and as his property sat on the market for over 2 years and counting, Donald Trump somehow sold his property for over twice the amount he paid for it in 2004.

The buyer was a Russian oligarch.

Here we are in 2018 and the Trump administration refuses to enforce sanctions on Russia, that were overwhelmingly approved by the Congress.

Why is Trump refusing to enforce the sanctions?

Follow the money” and I believe you’ll have your answer about the sanctions.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


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