In a shocking revelation, the Trump Organization may have willfully done nothing while a Trump-affiliated property became a front for organized crime.
According to Reuters, after opening in 2011, the Trump Ocean Club International Hotel and Tower, a high-rise development in Panama City, Panama, quickly became a popular money laundering source for Colombian cartel members and Russian human traffickers.
Alexandre Henrique Ventura Nogueira, a former broker for the building who is currently on the lam in Europe, claims that President Trump, Ivanka, Don Jr., and Eric were all involved in the marketing and management of the building, even though the Trump Organization did not own the property.
Ventura Nogueira also claims to have had nearly a dozen meetings with Ivanka concerning sales of condo units (that were allegedly being bought by criminals) at the development. According to Ventura Nogueira, he had an agreement with Ivanka that if he could sell 100 units, she would name him the lead sales rep for the project. He reportedly double- and triple-sold units to meet his goals.
This lax-yet-sales-driven approach quickly led to customers with ties to organized crime scooping up apartments in the building. “Nobody ever asked me. Banks never asked. Developer didn’t ask and (the) Trump Organization didn’t ask,” Ventura Nogueira said. “Nobody ask, ‘Who are the customers, where did the money come from?’ No, nobody ask.”
In a statement, the Trump Organization denied any culpability in the goings-on at the Panama City building:
“The Trump Organization was not the owner, developer or seller of the Trump Ocean Club Panama project. Because of its limited role, the company was not responsible for the financing of the project and had no involvement in the sale of units or the retention of any real estate brokers.”
However, according to legal experts, given Panama’s standing in the financial world as “highly corrupt,” most businesses perform due diligence on projects and potential business partners before conducting business in the country in order to avoid violating U.S. laws about ignoring wrongdoing.
Ivanka Trump, who was nearly prosecuted for fraud involving sales at a Trump property in 2012 before district attorney Cy Vance received a donation to his re-election campaign from Donald Trump’s longtime attorney, declined to comment to Reuters.