“Former Trump adviser and business partner Felix Sater has been served with subpoenas in the Southern District of New York (SDNY) relating to a high-profile money laundering case. The two subpoenas were issued on October 27, 2017, and required Sater to produce documents and sit for a deposition.
The two plaintiffs in the Manhattan case are Kazakh government entities — BTA Bank and the city of Almaty, Kazakhstan. The defendants include three fugitive Kazakh officials who allegedly laundered hundreds of millions stolen from BTA through U.S. real estate deals. One of those deals included the 2013 purchase of three condos in the Trump Soho Hotel.
According to court filings, Sater had been refusing to comply with the subpoenas and a motion to compel him was entered into the court record on January 8th. The subpoenas were issued by a lawyer representing Nicolas Bourg, a Brussels-based real estate investor who is both a co-defendant and cross-defendant in the case. As of January 12th, Bourg’s lawyer had issued a motion to stay, indicating Sater is now willing to cooperate with the discovery and deposition requests.
The SDNY case was filed in 2015 and names former BTA Bank Chairman Mukhtar Ablyazov, former Mayor of Almaty Viktor Khrapunov, and his son-in-law Ilyas Khrapunov among the defendants. The City of Almaty and current BTA representatives claim that Ablyazov used his position at the bank to issue loans to dozens of his own shell companies. The Kharapuvos purportedly conspired on the scheme and helped funnel some of the stolen money out of the country to enrich themselves.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s FMBE Bank records request is likely tied to Sater’s involvement in wire transfers from the Cyprus-based bank to the US. Previous to January 12th, Sater had refused to comply with the subpoena.”
For anyone who missed it Rachel Maddow dissected this issue brilliantly last week.