Tuesday, July 23, 2024

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FBI Informant Alexander Smirnov Charged With Lying About Biden Family Received Money From Firm Connected to Trump

Trump-Connected Firm Paid Lying FBI Informant Smirnov $600K Around Time of Biden Allegations.

Alexander Smirnov/Donald Trump
(Wes Rand/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Jacqueline Sweet of The Guardian has uncovered that Alexander Smirnov received a $600,000 payment from a company with ties to Donald Trump around the same time that he started lying to the FBI about the Biden family.

Smirnov, who began providing information to the FBI in 2020, claimed that the Bidens had engaged in a bribery scheme with executives at the Ukrainian energy company Burisma. His allegations served as a major justification for the House impeachment investigation into the Bidens, with Republican lawmakers repeatedly touting Smirnov as a reliable informant.

However, federal prosecutors now allege that Smirnov’s accounts were outright lies. The indictment states that Smirnov’s assertions in an FBI document known as a 1023, and other statements made to his FBI handler from 2020 to December 2023, were false.

Smirnov is currently being held without bail, as prosecutors argue he poses a flight risk because of his contact with Russian officials and access to millions of dollars.

Economic Transformation Technologies & Damac Properties

In 2020, the same year Smirnov began lying to the FBI, he received a payment of $600,000 from a company called Economic Transformation Technologies (ETT), according to prosecutors. ETT’s CEO, Christopher Condon, is also a shareholder in ETT Investment Holding Limited, a UK-based company.

Other shareholders in the UK company include Pakistani American investor Shahal Khan and Farooq Arjomand, a former chairman and current board member of Damac Properties in Dubai. Damac Properties has partnered with Donald Trump for a decade, and its former chairman, Hussain Sajwani, is a close friend of the former president.

Trump’s Connections to Damac and Its Executives

Trump has openly praised Sajwani in the past, calling him a “great man” and his family “the most beautiful people.” Sajwani attended Trump’s 2016 inauguration, and Trump’s sons, Donald Jr. and Eric Trump, attended the 2017 ribbon-cutting of the Trump International golf club in Dubai, licensed by Damac in 2014.

In 2017 FEC filings, Trump disclosed receiving $5 million from a Damac licensing deal but stated that he would no longer engage in personal business deals while serving as president. However, Trump and Sajwani supposedly continued discussing business during his presidency.

Arjomand, who was the vice-chairman of Damac when the Trump International golf club opened, replaced Sajwani as chair in 2021 when Sajwani stepped down to privatize the company.

Shahal Khan’s Business Ventures and Connections

Shahal Khan, who owns Dubai-based Trinity White City Ventures, is involved in various businesses, including AI, mining, and cybersecurity. In 2018, he partnered with New York City developer Kamran Hakim to purchase the Plaza Hotel for $600 million.

Khan also has ties to Trump associates. In 2017, he reportedly approached Brad Zackson, known as Paul Manafort’s “real estate fixer,” to help broker a deal to buy the Roosevelt Hotel in Manhattan for $500 million. Zackson previously worked for Fred Trump, Donald Trump’s father. However, when questioned about the reports, Khan denied the involvement of Zackson and Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman.

Fred Trump/Brad Zackson
Left to right: Brad Zackson, Fred Trump, and Irving Eskenazi (Dynamic Worldwide Group)

The Sketchy Business Model of ETT

The business model of Frisco, Texas-based ETT remains unclear. Its mission statement states that “ETT is leading the path for Digital and Economic Transformation with its Innovative Technology Platforms, connected Data Systems, and Advanced Artificial Intelligence in Sectors Ripe for Positive Disruption.”

ETT Investment Holding Limited, the UK company in which Condon, Arjomand, and Khan were shareholders, was dissolved back in 2021. Condon and Arjomand also registered another company called Atlas UK Group Limited on the same day they registered the UK ETT, which is now also dissolved.

Smirnov’s Background

Alexander Smirnov’s background and personal connections have come under scrutiny following his indictment for lying to the FBI. Born in Ukraine, Smirnov lived in Israel before moving to the United States. His ties to the American company Economic Transformation Technologies (ETT) and its predecessor, Pandora Venture Capital Corp, have been traced back to Smirnov’s current partner, Diana Lavrenyuk, and her ex-husband, Boris Nayflish.

Boris Nayflish, a Ukrainian American, first registered Pandora Venture Capital Corp in Florida in 2014. Despite their divorce, Nayflish reportedly maintained close relationships with both his ex-wife, Diana Lavrenyuk, and Smirnov. Since the publication of the Guardian article, Nayflish has taken down his LinkedIn profile.

Screenshot 2024 03 14 163903 e1711504273528

Further complicating matters is the revelation that ETT made a substantial payment of $600,000 to Smirnov in 2020, the same year he began providing false information to the FBI about President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden. An unnamed former business associate told The Wall Street Journal that this payment was made for a stake in an Israeli-based crypto trading platform, called Bitoftrade.

The involvement of a crypto trading platform adds another layer of complexity to the case, as cryptocurrencies are commonly used for illicit activities and money laundering. The exact nature of Bitoftrade and Smirnov’s role in its development remains unclear, but the substantial payment from ETT suggests a significant financial interest in the venture.

Scrutinizing Republican Motives in Smirnov Case

Smirnov is scheduled for a jury trial in April, according to court filings. The outcome of the trial and the ongoing investigation may shed further light on the connections between the indicted FBI informant, the American company that paid him, and the Trump associates in Dubai.

The indictment of Alexander Smirnov and the subsequent revelations about his connections to an American company with ties to Trump associates in Dubai has raised serious questions about the reliability of the information he provided to the FBI and the motivations behind his actions.

The web of connections between ETT, its shareholders, and individuals closely associated with former President Donald Trump adds a layer of complexity and raises concerns about the possible influence of these relationships on Smirnov’s actions. In addition to that, it will be important to examine the role that Trump’s Republican allies in the House such as James Comer played. Did they know they were being fed false information?

As the legal proceedings unfold and more information comes to light, it is crucial that investigators continue unravel the truth behind Smirnov’s actions and the network of connections that may have influenced them. The outcome of Smirnov’s trial and the ongoing investigation will not only shed light on the veracity of his claims against the Bidens but also potentially expose any ulterior motives or external influences that may have played a role in his decision to feed the FBI false information.