TrumpWorld is a land of coincidences. Some of those are happy, like how nice it was that Secretary of Commerce (and “King of Bankruptcy”) Wilbur Ross had a bank perfectly suited to launder the money that Paul Manafort raked in helping to spread Putin-ism throughout Eastern Europe, including the $12.7 million Manafort is accused of stealing from Ukraine. Money from both hauls appears to have moved through Ross’ Bank of Cyprus.
Federal prosecutors became interested in Manafort’s activities years ago as part of a broad investigation to recover stolen Ukrainian assets after the ouster of pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych there in early 2014.
As it turns out, that’s not all the games Manafort was playing in Cyprus. Ross’ bank was like a second home to Manafort … or at least to the money he took from “clients.”
In the 2014 case, Manafort used Cypriot shell companies as part of a nearly $19 million deal with Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska to purchase Ukrainian cable television provider Black Sea Cable. Deripaska said that after taking the money, Manafort and his associates stopped responding to Deripaska’s queries about how the funds had been used.
Manafort’s account ended up fat a few million while Deripaska mysteriously failed to acquire his cable company. Almost as if Manafort was really being paid for something else. That may seem odd, but other people are having connections that are even less enjoyable.
Former Russian lawmaker Denis Voronenkov was shot and killed in Kiev Thursday in what the Ukrainian president has labelled an act of Russian “state terrorism.”