Russian Tied To Trump Tower Meet Indicted In Separate US Case

Frederick Owens
January 9, 2019

That case - USA v. Prevezon Holdings - was the first case brought under the 2012 Magnitsky Act.

Veselnitskaya met with Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and other top Trump campaign officials in the now-infamous June 2016 Trump Tower meeting.

Goldstone initiated the meeting, billing it to Trump one to get "dirt" on Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, according to emails. While this case doesn't seem directly related to the Trump Tower gathering, it does establish her connections with Russian government officials and other individuals who've been sanctioned under the Magnitsky Act.

In 2017, she emerged as a key figure in the probe into whether there was Russian collusion with Trump campaign operatives. He also has scrutinized Trump's role in drafting a misleading public statement about the meeting's content. Federal prosecutors in NY said they were not aware of any defense attorney retained by Veselnitskaya, and ABC News requests for comment from her Russian office were not immediately returned.

A spokesman for Mr Mueller declined to comment on the charge against Ms Veselnitskaya.

Veselnitskaya, a 43-year-old attorney based in Russian Federation, did not respond to a telephone call and text message from The Associated Press.

The response the US received from Russia claimed to be the findings "from a Russian government investigation", according to the indictment, and it "purported to exonerate all Russian government personnel" of the fraud from which the alleged Prevezon money laundering stemmed.

The indictment was filed under seal in December and publicly announced today by Manhattan US Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman.

Prosecutors claimed that Prevezon helped a Russian criminal organization launder money through high-end real estate, including in NY.

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Veselnitskaya helped represent Prevezon in the case, in which the company was alleged to have laundered $14 million in proceeds of the Moscow tax refund scam through NY real estate.

Veselnitskaya was retained to assist the defendants.

The 19-page indictment against Veselnitskaya alleges that while representing Prevezon, she submitted "false and deceptive declarations" to a federal judge in New York City.

The indictment says Veselnitskaya claimed that the material she submitted to the court was an independent finding when in fact the document was an "intentionally misleading declaration" that she had secretly drafted with a senior Russian government prosecutor, who is not named in court papers.

Prevezon settled the civil case in 2017 but balked at a negotiated payment. A federal judge ordered the firm last February to pay US$6 million to the USA government. A 2011 medical report from the Physicians for Human Rights found no evidence Magnitsky was beaten to death, contrary to Browder's claim.

Prevezon Holdings was accused of participating in a tax fraud scheme that laundered $230m (£180m).

After Magnitsky discovered the alleged fraud, he was arrested and held for nearly a year in pretrial detention in Moscow, where he eventually died at age 37, the US indictment filed at the time alleges.

Magnitsky was then arrested and died in custody.

During the court battle, Ms Veselnitskaya cited a response the Russian government had given to the USA government's request for legal assistance in the case which pointed the finger of blame at others.

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