Russian tied to 2016 Trump Tower meeting indicted in separate US case

Russian tied to 2016 Trump Tower meeting indicted in separate US case

Russian tied to 2016 Trump Tower meeting indicted in separate US case

The motion, according to SDNY, presented "supposed investigative findings by the Russian government-findings purportedly exonerating Veselnitskaya's clients - under the false pretense that these findings had been independently drafted by the Russian government". But the case was not directly connected to the 2016 Trump Tower meeting, which was also attended by Donald Trump, Jr.

During the 2016 campaign for president, Veselnitskaya arranged a meeting with representatives of the Trump campaign by claiming to have "dirt" on then-candidate Hillary Clinton.

Federal prosecutors charge that Veselnitskaya tried to obstruct a Justice Department civil fraud investigation into money laundering involving a Russian business man's investment firm.

She is believed to be living in Russian Federation.

Natalya Veselnitskaya was charged with fabricating evidence in a 2013 case the United States filed against the Russian firm Prevezon Holdings, which was allegedly involved in a $230 million tax refund fraud scheme in Moscow.

It was not immediately clear whether Veselnitskaya has retained a defense attorney.

Russian prosecutors accuse Magnitsky of participating in the largest tax fraud in Russian history worth $200 million. The case was settled in 2017, with Prevezon paying a $5.9 million fine without admitting any wrongdoing.

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Magnitsky was arrested while investigating the fraud case and died in a Russian prison in 2009.

TPM called a number listed for Veselnitskaya at a Russian law firm.

It also is the first time United States prosecutors have directly connected Veselnitskaya to the Russian government.

Russian tax fraud at the core of the Prevezon money laundering case was allegedly first uncovered by Sergei Magnitsky, a lawyer who was allegedly killed while detained by Russian authorities. Yet, the US government pushed back on that characterization. But that meeting did center on issues related to Veselnitskaya's work on behalf of Prevezon, which is controlled by a Russian businessman named Denis Katsyv.

Veselnitskaya "is now a wanted person in the United States for intentionally misleading USA investigators", said Homeland Security investigator Angel Melendez.

The companies that claimed they had been defrauded by Prevezon were owned by Hermitage Capital Management, whose CEO William Browder aided the government's case. It was revealed then that Trump's eldest son met with her the previous June after being told by an intermediary that she represented the Russian government and was offering Moscow's campaign help to defeat Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

Browder went on to push for the passage of two laws: the 2012 Magnitsky Act, which penalized the Russian officials involved in Magnitsky's case; and the 2016 Global Magnitsky Act, which imposes sanctions on foreign individuals and entities for human rights abuses. Akhmetshin, a former Russian military officer and Washington lobbyist, later accompanied Veselnitskaya to the Trump Tower meeting.

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