Former Trump business associate said to have led double life as FBI informant and much more.
Working out of a 24th-floor workplace at Manhattan’s Trump Tower, Felix Sater spent decades hoping to line up profitable deals in the USA, Russia and elsewhere in Europe together with Donald Trump’s property business.
For much of the time, based on court documents and U.S. officials, Sater also worked as a confidential informant for the FBI, also — he says U.S. intelligence.
“I Was constructing Trump Towers daily and searching Bin Laden through the nighttime,” Sater, currently 50, told the Los Angeles Times in a telephone interview from New York.
As Managing director of Bayrock Group LLC, a real estate development company, the Russian-born businessman fulfilled Trump at 2003, court documents show, when Trump was seeking to expand his own enterprise and branding business around the world.
Even though Few jobs were constructed, Sater worked on resort and condo deals with the Trump Organization through 2010 in New York, Florida, Arizona, London, Moscow and elsewhere as he secretly aided the FBI infiltrate and take down organized crime figures, based on court documents.
Trump has denied that they had been near, but Sater had access to Trump’s inner circle as recently as this past year.
In January, Sater and Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, fulfilled in a New York hotel with a Ukrainian lawmaker who requested them to deliver the White House that a pro-Russian peace bargain for Ukraine.
“I was just attempting to prevent a war,” Sater said of his function linking the lawmaker, Andrei Artemenko, together with Cohen.
The New York Times, that reported the assembly, quoted Cohen as saying that he gave the envelope containing the proposal into Michael Flynn, then Trump’s national security adviser, but Cohen currently prohibits bringing it.
“I Acknowledge the short meeting happened, but deny talking this subject or sending any records to the White House or General Flynn,” Cohen wrote in an email to the Los Angeles Times.
The White House has “no record” of getting the Ukraine peace suggestion, according to spokesman Michael Short. In addition, he stated that “nobody at the White House” had discussed the issue with Cohen.
There’s not any question which Sater led a dual life through the years that he worked together with the Trump Organization.
In 1998, Sater pleaded guilty to a federal charge of racketeering because of his role in a Mafia-linked $40-million stock fraud strategy. He immediately cut a deal, agreeing to turn into a key FBI informant in hopes of obtaining a lenient sentence.
Court Records were sealed to protect Sater’s individuality, so his part in the fraud situation remained secret for a long time while he had been at Bayrock. Following a court hearing 2009, he had been fined $25,000 but wasn’t sent to prison or arranged to pay restitution.
In his sentencing hearing, many FBI officials vouched for Sater’s aid. He received his greatest endorsement in January 2015 if Loretta Lynch was requested at her Senate confirmation hearing U.S. lawyer general why court documents were sealed from the fraud situation.
Sater Had worked with federal prosecutors and the FBI for at least 10 decades, “supplying information critical to national security and also the certainty of more than 20 people, such as those responsible for committing massive fiscal fraud and associates of La Cosa Nostra” — the Mafia — based on Lynch, who’d functioned as U.S. lawyer in the Eastern District in New York.
Sater’s Attorney, Robert W. Wolf, provides his customer more charge, stating he worked together with “numerous U.S. national security, intelligence and law enforcement agencies” Sater says he aided search “America’s biggest enemies” in Afghanistan and elsewhere.
There’s not any independent confirmation of these assertions.
Former CIA officials who worked in counter-terrorism and Russian affairs said that they never heard of Sater and uncertainty his cloak-and-dagger asserts of chasing down terrorists.
“We Shouldn’t take this man’s statements at face value,” explained Glenn Carle, a former CIA operations officer who retired from 2007. “There are a variety of men and women who seek refuge by wrapping themselves in the CIA flags”
Sater’s company history with Trump is well recorded, however.
In Their initial bargain, in November 2003, the Trump Organization and Bayrock announced plans to construct a 19-story condo tower and resort complex in Phoenix.
Residents Who whined that the job was too big compelled a citywide referendum to obstruct structure, however. Trump pulled in 2005, and the project was not constructed.
The Next year, Bayrock accredited Trump’s title and started construction of a 24-story resort and condo complex in Fort Lauderdale, Fla..
The Project ran out of cash and has been struck by lawsuits and claims of fraud by buyers. Trump was dropped out of the suits after claiming he wasn’t the programmer and wasn’t accountable for the issues.
The Trump Organization and Bayrock developed the Trump Soho resort in Lower Manhattan beginning in 2006. Sater appeared with Trump in a launch celebration in September 2007.
Sater Left Bayrock the subsequent year following news reports disclosed his criminal record. He continued to operate together with the Trump Organization he had business cards which called him a “special adviser” and maintained his offices at Trump Tower — attempting to collect real estate deals through 2010.
Sater Stated he’d signed several development agreements with Trump’s firm, for example a for a Trump Tower in Moscow, but none had been assembled.
“We Were seeking to get deals in a variety of capitals, in London, Paris — we had no particular affinity for Moscow,” Sater stated in the meeting.
Sater Says he was pitching prices to the Trump Organization at 2015. An attorney for the Trump firm didn’t return requests for comment.
In a sworn deposition in 2013 at a civil lawsuit, Trump said that he scarcely understood Sater.
“If he had been sitting in the area at this time, I actually would not know what he looked like,” Trump said.
Short, the White House spokesman, declined to comment on Sater’s function as an FBI informant or on Trump’s connection with him.
Born At Russia, Sater grew up in Brighton Beach, a gritty Brooklyn community famous for its large Russian community, even following his father disappeared from the Soviet Union in 1972.
Sater Became a licensed stock broker, but he chased a guy with a broken margarita glass in a bar fight in 1991. He had been convicted of felony assault and served about a year.
Throughout his years as an informant, Sater sometimes confided in his rabbi — who believed he was making his exploits.
“I thought maybe he’d watched too many James Bond films and see a lot of Tom Clancy books,” Rabbi Shalom M. Paltiel stated at a 2014 address naming Sater “guy of the year” because of his support to his Chabad congregation on Long Island.
Paltiel stated Sater then encouraged him to some secret thank-you ceremony in a federal building in New York.
“To My amazement I visit heaps of U.S. intelligence officers, from all of the different three-letter intelligence agencies of the country, such as a few I had never known existed,” Paltiel stated in a movie published by Sater. Their reports were “more fabulous and much more incredible than anything he had been telling me”
A number of suits paint a flattering portrait of Sater, nevertheless.
In One, Ernest Mennes, an investor at the Phoenix job, sued Sater and Bayrock at Arizona Superior Court in 2007, alleging that they’d skimmed an unspecified sum of money and Sater had threatened to kill Mennes when he divulged Sater’s criminal record.
Sater angrily denied the allegation. “You believe I am performing Trump Towers [bargains] and telling somebody I’d … cut off their legs? Are you mad?” He explained in the interview
Bayrock Settled the case for an undisclosed sum. In a meeting, Mennes Praised Sater, stating that he “served the U.S. nicely” and has been “a great Spouse”