March 15, 2023

Federal prosecutors in New York involved in the investigation into Donald Trump’s social media company last year were examining whether it violated money laundering statutes in connection with the acceptance of $8m with suspected Russian ties. Via the Guardian:

The company – Trump Media, which owns Trump’s Truth Social platform – initially came under criminal investigation over its preparations for a potential merger with a blank check company called Digital World (DWAC) that was also the subject of an earlier probe by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Towards the end of last year, federal prosecutors started examining two loans totaling $8m wired to Trump Media, through the Caribbean, from two obscure entities that both appear to be controlled in part by the relation of an ally of Russian president Vladimir Putin, the sources said.

The expanded nature of the criminal investigation, which has not been previously reported, threatens to delay the completion of the merger between Trump Media and DWAC, which would provide the company and Truth Social with up to $1.3bn in capital, in addition to a stock market listing.

Oh, look! Moral arbiter Don "Shaky" Jr. gave the go-ahead to the loan despite legal concerns:

[...] Prosecutors appear to have also taken a special interest in the payments because the off-shore Paxum Bank has a history of providing banking services for the pornography and sex worker industries, which makes it higher risk of engaging in money laundering and other illicit financing.

There appears to have been some awareness at Trump Media that the first $2m was to come through because Trump’s eldest son Don Jr, who joined the board with Trump ally Kash Patel and former Republican-turned Trump Media chief executive Devin Nunes, had confirmed to the company’s lawyers to proceed with the transaction.

Gosh, what a shame. Junior is such a straight arrow, I'd hate to see him tangled up with money laundering. It must have been a mistake!

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