A company used by former Trump aide Paul Manafort for offshore business dealings received a $1.25million loan in August from a newly-formed shell company registered anonymously in Nevada, according to documents exclusively obtained by DailyMail.com.
The loan came just a couple of weeks after the FBI seized financial records from Manafort’s home in an early-morning raid in July and a day after it was revealed that FBI investigators wiretapped Manafort in the months before and after the election, and they plan to indict him.
Now members of Congress are scrutinizing multi-million dollar loans the former Trump campaign manager obtained while working for pro-Russia entities.
An FBI probe led by special counsel Robert Mueller into Russian election interference has increasingly focused on Manafort’s business dealings and possible money-laundering, according to reports.
Paul Manafort received a $1.25m loan on August 7 from a newly-formed shell company registered anonymously in Nevada. It came weeks after the FBI seized his financial records in their Russia election probe
The loan was taken out on Andrea Manafort’s, Manafort’s daughter, apartment in lower Manhattan (pictured). The home was originally purchased a decade ago through Jesand LLC, which is owned by the former Trump aide
Manafort’s former spokesperson was called to testify before a grand jury late last week.
Jesand LLC – which is owned by Manafort, his daughter Andrea, and his wife Kathleen – took out the $1.25million equity loan on Andrea’s home in lower Manhattan on August 7.
The home was first purchased a decade ago by Manafort and his daughter, through Jesand LLC.
The lender is a company called Woodlawn LLC, based in Carson City Nevada, which was formed on August 2, just one week before issuing the loan.
The company is registered to an anonymous agent service. The contract requires the $1.25million loan to be repaid in full by December 31, 2017.
Although Manafort’s name is not on the loan agreement, the ‘borrower’ is listed as Jesand LLC and the address is listed as the office of Bruce Baldinger, who is Manafort’s attorney.
The 2,100 square foot home has three outdoor terraces, a built-in wine cooler, and is in a doorman building with its own gym and parking
Andrea is no longer thought to live in New York but public records do not suggest the Manaforts have yet sold the property
It was listed for sale in 2013 for $4.85million and put on the market again for $2.6million in 2014 but no sale appears to have resulted
Manafort’s set up Jesand LLC in Delaware in 2007, according to corporate records. His wife, Kathleen, is named as a managing member.
Kathleen and the couple’s daughter Andrea signed the loan agreement.
The loan is part of a pattern for Manafort, who has taken out a reported $13million in loans on properties he purchased over the past decade – often after he had paid for the homes in cash.
The practice has raised questions about whether Manafort is intentionally trying to obscure the source of the money through complex real estate and loan transactions.
Julian Block, a former special agent at the IRS and a tax attorney in New York, called the loan from the unknown Nevada company ‘unusual,’ particularly in context of Manafort’s other financial activities.
He said exclusively to the DailyMail.com: ‘Simply put, you don’t want other people to become conversant with your financial activities, or at least you want to try to make it difficult for other people particularly federal investigators to become conversant with your financial activities.
‘Is it per say criminal activity? No. There still could be plausible explanations. Was it unusual? You bet.’
Manafort served as Trump’s campaign manager between June and August 2016 and helped guide the candidate’s pivot from the Republican primary to the general election
Jesand LLC is owned by Manafort, his daughter Andrea (left), and his wife Kathleen. The name is thought to be derived from the combination of Andrea and his other daughter Jessica’s (right) name
The home is spacious with bright, large rooms and is in a popular area of lower Manhattan
The loan is part of a pattern for Manafort, who has taken out a reported $13m in loans on properties he purchased over the past decade – often after he had paid for them in cash
Michael Zeldin, a former federal prosecutor, said an interview with NBC News in March: ‘What’s odd is this notion of buying it through a corporate entity, transferring it to your name, and taking out loans against that property.
‘What’s the underlying business purpose?’
Jesand LLC came under scrutiny in July, after the New York Times reported that Manafort had used the company to obtain a $10million loan in 2012 from an offshore entity linked to the Party of Regions, a pro-Russia political party in Ukraine.
Days after the article, the FBI raided Manafort’s home as part of the larger inquiry into Russian interference in the presidential election.
During the raid they reportedly seized documents related to taxes and overseas banking.
According to the Times, Jesand LLC received the $10million loan from Lucicle Consultants, a company based in Cyprus.
Due to laws in Cyprus that shield owners of companies, it is unclear who owns Lucicle.
However, the Times reported that a company called Mistaro Ventures transferred millions of dollars to Lucicle shortly before the loan to Jesand LLC.
Mistaro is owned by Ivan Fursin, a member of the Party of Regions.
Manafort worked for nearly a decade as a lobbyist and consultant for the Party of Regions, which was led by Putin ally, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, at the time.
Manafort worked for nearly a decade as a lobbyist and consultant for the Party of Regions, which was led by a Putin ally. Manafort reported in June that he earned around $17m working for Ukraine between 2012 and 2014. Pictured: Manafort and his wife Kathleen in July 2016
Manafort also attended a June 2016 meeting between Donald Jr (right) and two Russian lobbyists, including lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya (left), that took place at Trump Tower to receive opposition research related to Hillary Clinton
Manafort did not disclose his lobbying work for the foreign party until a few months ago, as required by federal lobbying laws. He retroactively filed a report in June disclosing that he earned around $17million working for Ukraine between 2012 and 2014.
He served as Trump’s campaign manager between June and August 2016 and helped guide the candidate’s pivot from the Republican primary to the general election.
He also attended a June 9, 2016 meeting between Trump’s son Donald Jr. and two Russian lobbyists that took place at Trump Tower.
Before the meeting, the Russians reportedly promised to turn over opposition research related to Hillary Clinton and said this was part of a Russian government effort to help Trump’s election chances.
Manafort’s spokesperson Jason Maloni testified for over two hours before a grand jury on Friday as part of Mueller’s Russia investigation.
Members of Congress have also threatened to subpoena Manafort recently as part of their probe into the loans he has received.
Sen. Charles Grassley, the Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said last week that he was ‘not very satisfied’ with Manafort’s response to the committee’s requests.
Grassley said the former Trump campaign manager’s attorneys had stopped returning the committee’s calls and was not turning over promised documents.
He said if they continue to be uncooperative the committee could take the ‘next step’ and issue a subpoena.