FEC complaint: company laundered Ukrainian money to give to Trump-allied super-PAC

Bloomberg / YouTube The Two Most Common Ways Criminals...
Bloomberg / YouTube

Global Energy Partners LLC, a company that was formed in April, donated $325,000 in May to America First Action, the self-described primary super-PAC supporting Trump’s agenda. The only issue with that is that a watchdog group, the Campaign Legal Center, determined that Global Energy Partners couldn’t have made enough money to make that large a donation. From the complaint (PDF):

The available facts do not suggest that GEP conducted any business or had sufficient income from assets, investment earnings, business revenues, or bona fide capital investments to make the $325,000 contribution to America First Action at the time the contribution was made. The temporal proximity between GEP’s formation and its contribution, viewed in the context of the LLC’s overall activities, strongly suggests that it received funds for the specific purpose of making these contributions. GEP was formed on April 11, 2018, then made a $325,000 contribution on May 17, 2018 (followed by a $50,000 contribution to a state committee on June 21, 2018). Available records provide no indication that GEP had accrued sufficient assets, investment earnings, business revenues, or bona fide capital investments to make these contributions without an infusion of funds provided to it for that purpose. Indeed, GEP only began taking bids to design a low-cost website after it made the $325,000 contribution, and still does not appear to have published the website.

So if GEP didn’t earn the money it donated, where did it come from? Bloomberg:

The complaint identifies Igor Fruman and Lev Parnas as the most likely sources of the money, based in part on other campaign contributions listing the company as their employer, but acknowledges there could be others. Because Global Energy Producers was incorporated in Delaware, it didn’t have to immediately disclose directors or information about its owners, making it difficult to determine its financial backers.

The Daily Beast has more on the pair here.

As for whether the super PAC will investigate, maybe even return the money? Corey Lewandowski and “Sheriff” David Clarke are senior advisers and Kimberly Guilfoyle, Donny Junior’s latest squeeze, just joined as vice-chairman. So I don’t expect any pearl-clutching on the way to the fainting couch from this bunch.

Updated to add that I’ve sent an email to the Campaign Legal Center to ask whether they’ve contacted the FBI, as megcrane’s comment suggests. Contributing Ukrainian money to a pro-Trump super-PAC could be of interest to the FBI, especially if the donors are pro-Russia Ukrainians as portions of this article imply they might be. I’ll update again if I get an answer.

Investigations like this one will likely become scarce now that dark money donors to advocacy groups don’t need to be disclosed.

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