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HomeGeneralFeds Set to Seize This $7 Million Condo in a Luxe Trump...

Feds Set to Seize This $7 Million Condo in a Luxe Trump Building

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Source: Reddit

A forfeiture complaint filed in Manhattan federal court and obtained by The Daily Beast said the action ‘‘involves the misappropriation, theft, or embezzlement of hundreds of millions of dollars from the Congo treasury, some of which is used to buy a luxury product.

“This property is Unit 32G of the Trump International Hotel & Tower at 1 Central Park West, New York, NY 10023,” the complaint states. The United States is seeking to repossess the property “because the funds used to purchase it may have been derived from violations of specified illegal activities and United States laws,” according to the complaint.

The ownership of the Trump International Hotel & Tower is complex, as the Trump Organization manages the building and owns some of the apartments, while hundreds of individual owners own the rest.

The connection between Congolese first daughter Claudia Lemboumba Sassou-Nguesso and the Trump International apartment was first highlighted in 2019 by the anti-corruption NGO Global Witness, which later filed a request for the Department of Justice to begin the process of confiscating the two-bedroom, two-and-a-half bathroom unit.

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Apartments were acquired through a complex network of shell companies and middlemen who funneled the stolen money into the Congolese public treasury through institutions in Portugal, Cyprus, the British Islands, and Brazil, the complaint said, for confiscation.

The money eventually arrived in the United States, where Sassou-Nguesso and his co-conspirators hired law firm K&L Gates to purchase apartment 32G “for the benefit of Sassou-Nguesso, using a portion of the money laundering and embezzlement proceeds,” according to the complaint.

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The complaint says Sassou-Nguesso knew she might be rejected by Trump International as a politically exposed person and considered listing her cousin as a beneficial owner of the entity to avoid trouble.

These embezzled funds were used to purchase the defendant’s assets for the express purpose of Sassou Nguesso’s enrichment,” the complaint says. After the release of Global Witness`s report in 2019, the Trump Organization said the monthly common fees paid by apartment owners did not go directly to Trump for profit.

Although the apartment appears to have remained unoccupied since its purchase, prosecutors said they had reviewed Sassou-Nguesso’s emails regarding interior design work to be carried out at the property and transferred more than $400,000 through his global network to a Portuguese company that transported them.

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According to the forfeiture complaint, the Apartment “was the result of…a scheme to launder proceeds from specified illegal activities.

Former federal prosecutor Kenneth McCallion, a former member of the organized crime strike force that investigated possible criminal activity during the construction of Trump Tower, told The Daily Beast that dirty money has long poured into Trump buildings.

“They would pay cash for the apartments, hold them for a few years, sell them, and the proceeds would then be clean money,” McCallion said.

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