Saturday, December 1, 2018

Elliott Broidy in the news again

Recall that GOP megadonor Elliott Broidy is the man known as one of Michael Cohen's three clients (the other two being Trump and Sean Hannity), who, for a while, was finance chairman of the RNC.  Also recall that he supposedly paid $1.6 million to a woman said to have had an abortion from a pregnancy by Broidy, which some people speculate was actually on behalf of Trump.

Broidy is also under indictment for money laundering.
[I]n a scheme to launder millions of dollars into the country to help a flamboyant Malaysian financier [...] Elliott Broidy, a Los Angeles-based businessman who was a finance vice chairman of Mr. Trump’s 2016 campaign and inauguration committees, was paid to lobby the Trump administration to try to end an investigation related to the embezzlement of billions of dollars from a Malaysian state-owned fund, according to court filings made public on Friday.


The filings were released in connection with a guilty plea entered by George Higginbotham, a former Justice Department employee. Mr. Higginbotham admitted to conspiring to lie to banks about the source of tens of millions of dollars he funneled into the United States from the Malaysian financier Jho Low, who federal authorities say masterminded a scheme to loot the 1 Malaysia Development Berhad fund, also known as 1MDB.


In his guilty plea, Mr. Higginbotham admitted that he and the entertainer and businessman Pras Michel, a former member of the Fugees, a defunct hip-hop group, arranged for millions of dollars of Mr. Low’s money to be transferred to a law firm owned by Mr. Broidy’s wife to pay them to try to end the 1MDB investigation.


The filings identify Mr. Broidy as “Person 1” or “Individual 1.”


In a brief interview on Friday, Mr. Broidy did not deny that the filings refer to him. But he referred specific questions to his lawyer, who did not respond to a request for comment.


Mr. Broidy, who pleaded guilty in 2009 in an unrelated pension fund bribery case, is one of several Trump associates whose business with foreign governments and figures has attracted scrutiny, including from investigators for the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III.

A veteran Republican fund-raiser who also owns a defense contracting firm, Mr. Broidy had seemed positioned to become a highly influential figure in a political hierarchy that was upended by Mr. Trump’s victory. Mr. Broidy had started raising money for Mr. Trump’s 2016 campaign at a time when most elite Republican donors were staying away. After Mr. Trump’s election, Mr. Broidy marketed his connection to the new administration to politicians, businessmen and governments around the world, including some with unsavory records, and won big contracts for his defense firm.


[Federal prosecutors] extract[ed] a guilty plea from a former Goldman Sachs banker who was involved in bribes and kickbacks related to 1MDB bond work. Mr. Broidy’s involvement, which predates Mr. Low’s indictment, underscores both Mr. Low’s efforts to navigate the United States judicial system, and the far-flung nature of Mr. Broidy’s business pursuits in the early days of the Trump administration.

In March 2017, Mr. Low’s associates were looking to retain “someone with political influence,” according to a Friday filing. Their goal was to help him deflect efforts by American authorities to seize assets bought with money he was accused of siphoning from 1MDB, and to end the Justice Department investigation into his activities, according to the filings. They indicate that, after Mr. Low expressed interest in hiring Mr. Broidy and Ms. Rosenzweig’s law firm, Mr. Michel met with Mr. Broidy and an associate “and explained Jho Low’s situation in the 1MDB matters.”

Mr. Broidy “indicated to Michel that although he was willing to assist Jho Low, he would not take any compensation directly from Jho Low in exchange for his services,” according to the filings. They indicate that Mr. Broidy “wanted $15 million in compensation, but Michel negotiated the price down to approximately $8 million.”

At least $6 million was transferred to Ms. Rosenzweig’s law firm through various accounts set up to “disguise the true source, origin and purpose of the funds, and, specifically, to conceal from U.S. financial institutions Jho Low’s ownership, control and affiliation with these funds and transactions,” according to the filings.


Mr. Michel indicated that Mr. Broidy “agreed to try to influence a potential nominee for a federal position that would have authority over the 1MDB forfeiture matters,” according to the filings, which note that the potential office holder was not nominated.

...but hey, do what you will anyway.

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