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Tue Jul 31, 2018, 06:15 PM

$300K in suspicious transactions between 2014 & 2017--much of it cash-- involving Butina & Erickson

$300K in suspicious transactions between 2014 & 2017--much of it cash-- involving Maria Butina & Paul Erickson flagged for FBI by Wells Fargo,


A $45,000 payment to an undisclosed law firm. A cash withdrawal for $14,000. Almost $90,000 sent to or from a Russian bank. These and other bank transactions totaling nearly $300,000, none of which have been made public, offer the first detailed look at how an accused foreign agent and a Republican operative financed what prosecutors say was a Russian campaign to influence American politics.

Anti-fraud investigators at Wells Fargo flagged the transactions — by Paul Erickson, a conservative consultant from South Dakota, and Maria Butina, who is in jail awaiting trial on charges of secretly acting as a Russian agent — as “suspicious,” noting in some cases that they could find no “apparent economic, business, or lawful purpose” to explain them. Now counterintelligence officers say the duo’s banking activity could provide a road map of back channels to powerful American entities such as the National Rifle Association, and information about the Kremlin’s attempt to sway the 2016 US presidential election.

Cash withdrawals, most of them from Erickson’s personal and business accounts, make up $107,000 of the financial transactions now being investigated. The largest of those withdrawals — $14,000 — occurred in December 2015, when Erickson reportedly traveled to Moscow as part of an NRA delegation. The visit was sponsored by a Russian gun rights organization started by Butina, federal authorities say.

The duo also deposited about $90,000 in cash in their accounts, which has made it difficult for investigators to determine the source or purpose of the funds.

Bank documents indicate Wells Fargo’s anti–money laundering team began checking Butina’s and Erickson’s bank activity in early 2017, after receiving a referral from the FBI. In a report the bank prepared and shared with the bureau and the US Department of the Treasury's financial crimes division, Wells Fargo officials expressed suspicion about the “significant control” Erickson had over Butina’s account. He had access, Wells Fargo found, to her personal checking account, which she opened in 2014. He frequently made payments on her behalf; the recipients have not been identified. He sometimes appeared to write checks that Butina signed. The bank closed the duo’s personal and business accounts in late 2017.



https://www.buzzfeednews.com/amphtml/jasonleopold/maria-butina-paul-erickson-suspicious-bank-money-russia

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Reply $300K in suspicious transactions between 2014 & 2017--much of it cash-- involving Butina & Erickson (Original post)
kpete Jul 2018 OP
struggle4progress Jul 2018 #1

Response to kpete (Original post)

Tue Jul 31, 2018, 09:27 PM

1. GOP: "Goons Of Putin"

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