Preet Bharara's Russian Money-Laundering Case Abruptly Settled, Raising Eyebrows
This is the case that Preet Bharara as the Manhattan US Attorney was working on when he was abruptly fired by Donald Trump back in March.
The trial was supposed to start Monday and witness testimony was expected to shed light on how Russian dirty money gets laundered. Through real estate. Expensive Manhattan real estate. Now that avenue of information gathering has been shut down.
This is also the case where two relatively young lawyers died and one person “fell out of” a Moscow apartment window but survived.
Experts in the field are questioning the abrupt timing, how easily the Russian company got off with a small payment, and asking if some kind of political pressure was applied to settle the case. Given the timing of high profile firings in the news it does cast suspicion.
Trump can't just keep firing and firing people that inch closer and closer, eventually something has to give:
(CNN) A major US investigation into Russian money laundering has come to an abrupt end. The case aimed to expose how Russian mobsters allegedly stole $230 million and hid some of the cash in New York City real estate. Also sure to come up was the suspicious death of the Russian lawyer who exposed the alleged fraud, though US prosecutors weren't alleging that the defendants were behind it.
The trial was set to start on Monday, but late Friday night, federal prosecutors in New York announced they settled the case with Prevezon, the company accused of buying up "high-end commercial space and luxury apartments" with laundered money.
The abrupt conclusion has some involved in the trial wondering why this Russian investigation had been cut short.
"What most concerns me is: Has there been any political pressure applied in this?" asked Louise Shelley, an illicit finance expert who was set to testify in support of the US government on Tuesday.
(CNN story link from which quotes are taken)