U.S. Treasury Department agents have recently obtained information about offshore financial transactions involving President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, as part of a federal anti-corruption probe into his work in Eastern Europe
Paul Manafort linked to Bank of Cyprus, Russia Oligarchs, Vladimir Putin, Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, and Cayman Island Banks
According to the Associated Press reports: Information about Paul Manafort’s transactions was turned over earlier this year to U.S. agents working in the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network by investigators in Cyprus at the U.S. agency’s request, a person familiar with the case said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to publicly discuss a criminal investigation.
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. No U.S. criminal charges have ever been filed in the case.
It was not immediately clear what time period was covered under the government request for information about Manafort’s financial transactions in Cyprus. Paul Manafort was known to route financial transactions through Cyprus, according to records of international wire transfers obtained by the AP and public court documents filed in a 2014 legal dispute in the Cayman Islands.
In the 2014 case, Paul Manafort used shell companies based in Cypress 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, Paul Manafort and his associates stopped responding to Deripaska’s queries about how the funds had been used.
As part of their investigation, U.S. officials were expected to look into millions of dollars’ worth of wire transfers to Paul Manafort. In one case, the AP found that a Manafort-linked company received a $1 million payment in October 2009 from a mysterious firm through the Bank of Cyprus. The $1 million payment left the account the same day — split in two, roughly $500,000 disbursements to accounts with no obvious owner.