If there is a lawless hotspot on the globe, the Trumps are there. Increasingly, it looks like the Trump organization specializes in one business more than any other, money laundering. They don’t even try to hide it much, either. Ivanka might be worse at it than her daddy.
A deep investigation carried out by Global Witness, an anti-corruption organization, and reported upon by Talking Points Memo, reveals that Ivanka Trump followed Don’s pattern to a “T” in the two projects most identified as “hers,” the building projects in Azerbaijan and Panama. Both projects suffered from shitty construction (duh) and “untimely bonuses” (double duh). Of course they did, Trump projects are internationally renowned for shoddy construction and untimely cash-vacuums, cash being perhaps the only thing regularly “vacuumed” at all in Trump projects, if the rumors are to be believed.
So there is no breaking news to be gleaned from an investigation showing that Ivanka branded a building architecturally-inspired by Walmart, built from military surplus supplies, nor news in hearing the Ivanka was last seen heaving two garbage bags of money into a helicopter and jumping aboard. The story is in where “the money” came from to begin with. It is a story that is becoming just as associated with Trump properties as the bedbugs. It seems Trumps have a hard time taking-in “good money,” if you know what I mean:
“Trump’s business approach,” wrote anti-corruption group Global Witness in a recent report, “has been to lease his name and for him and his family to drum up sales in some of the world’s dirty money hotspots, in some instances aided — knowingly or unwittingly — by networks of money launderers. The result is that Trump’s current wealth has depended in part on securing significant infusions of untraceable foreign funds.”
Yes. Well, alright, people that rely heavily upon “significant infusions of untraceable foreign funds” are highly sensitive to having their taxes released that does sure seem to fit.
The real story, however, is in how brazen these people are. To fully appreciate just how little the Trumps care about their obvious association with criminality requires us to “pretend” for a moment.
Let’s pretend we are someone bright, but we have no business or legal background or acumen. Indeed, we have NO interest in business, law, politics … We are … veterinarians. We specialize in puppies. We are the best puppy specialists on Earth and cannot spell “IRS” if we were spotted the vowel. We are just good normal people who rely on experts when it comes to business and law.
Our aunt left us a big real estate investment in Panama!
We attend a meeting about our investment and learn the things that Ivanka knew. Would we not go into the street screaming upon learning that our customers for these multi-million dollar condos:
Paid in cash, millions in cash.
Units purchased in bulk, in cash.
Purchased by shell companies just created the week before and without any other assets.
Purchased in “Bearer Shares” (illegal in the Bahamas and U.K., these are, like, worse than cash in some ways.)
And a highly disproportionate number of purchasers were Colombian or Russian.
Now, puppy doctor with a great aunt, would you not go to your accountants and lawyers and ask: “Hey, how come we are paying a fortune to armed guards to take this cash to the banks, and we don’t ever get any ‘checks’ – which seem pretty common everywhere else, and how come they’re never drawn off like, Wells Fargo or Bank of America? And how come I have four purchasers named Igor but not a single one named ‘Dan’ or Katie? Speaking of which, how come none of these people are orthopedic surgeons or CEOs in Boeing or something?”
All of the above characteristics were prominent features of Ivanka Trump’s Panamanian properties, and Princess Ivanka apparently did not once ask her accountants and lawyers those very basic questions that any self-respecting, no-business-acumen at all puppy doctor would ask. So, we are left to conclude that Ivanka is either much much dumber than your average vet, or that she knew she was facilitating global organized crime and didn’t care. Or both.
Or you could ignore the above “instinct test” and simply listen to the agent on the ground admit the operation was illegal:
But if these glaring signs weren’t enough, a Reuters investigation also found that Alexandre Henrique Ventura Nogueira, the building’s primary broker, admitted that he offered money laundering among his services. “When I was in Panama I was regularly laundering money for more than a dozen companies,” said Ventura Nogueira, who was arrested in Panama a few years ago on charges of forgery and fraud.
Ah, okay, well we were pretty sure anyway, but good to know you came out and admitted it!
Bad as that is, Ivanka’s Panamanian project was a smashing success when measured against Trump Tower Baku, which strangely enough is not a Star Wars planet, though Ivanka certainly wishes it was at this point. Not only did the dump get built in a crappy ‘hood, not only did construction go massively awry, and not only … , well:
Corruption warning signs are rarely more obvious.”
According to Davidson’s research, the construction of the building, which may well have been used to launder funds from those tied to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, put the Trumps in possible violation of the U.S.’s Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). The FCPA, originally passed in 1977, remains one of the U.S.’s primary tools in combating foreign corruption, prohibiting American individuals and companies from bribing foreign officials. Indeed, the FCPA was, as Southern Illinois University Law Professor Mike Koehler wrote a few years ago, the “first law in the world governing domestic business conduct with foreign government officials in foreign market.”
Nice work, princess, help fund the same nation your old man almost bombed, the same one that might go to war with the nation to which your husband will have to exile upon the world learning of his banking practices. Only you, princess.
Want to know how bad it is? The Azerbaijan project was so bad that Ivanka has scrubbed it from the internet. Imagine the amount of awful shit that exists on the net about the Trumps? Yet it was this particular shit that princess went out of her way to remove?
We have the mob running the United States, you know that, right? And not the relatively “good mafia” of Italian, New York fame, that at least had some rules, some sort of code. No, we saw fit to elect the international mob, the mob with one rule only, “never lose.”
It gets even sadder, though. Some countries would have the self-respect to elect a mobbed-up person who carefully hid his or her mob ties. Not us. We elect one with ties so obvious that the average veterinarian, second grade teacher, MRI technician, etc. would say: “But isn’t this against the law or something?” if they heard even the most basic description.
It is right out in the open.
Ivanka, a chip off the old block. She makes money the old fashioned way. She steals it.
I know it is Thanksgiving, and in some ways, we should be thankful because near everything we complain about here on a daily basis is still a “first world problem,” and we are lucky to live in the United States. But history never sleeps, and empires fall. When they do, people get hurt, people die and abuses happen. So it is good to be wary, even on a day when we are thankful to even have a chance to read and protest …
I should have just written about actual dogs today, not invoke pretend dog doctors in telling a story. Maybe later.
Happy Thanksgiving, and keep an eye on the silverware if princess is running around.
firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @MiciakZoom