Federal Probe Into Trump Social Media Deal Expands

Source: Shutterstock

A multi-agency investigation into the funding of Donald Trump’s latest business venture – a social media platform dubbed “Truth Social” – has expanded dramatically over recent months based on newly revealed information. Once focused largely on securities violations, the probe now encompasses potential international money laundering and conspiracy crimes.

The inquiry centers on highly suspicious financial activities and conversations detected surrounding key figures before public knowledge of Trump’s post-presidency media plans. Emerging evidence depicts a coordinated effort involving domestically and abroad-based associates possibly unlawfully profiting through the exploitation of nonpublic details concerning Trump Media and Technology Group’s planned merger deal with Digital World Acquisition Corp.

No Charges Yet in Widening Probe

The inquiry into the former president’s deal to launch a social media platform now involves the FBI, SEC, Homeland Security, and an elite anti-money-laundering unit, according to newly released documents. While no formal accusations have been made, federal agents are scrutinizing a partnership seemingly plagued by improprieties.

Source: Wikimedia/Federal Bureau of Investigation

The spotlight falls on Digital World CEO Patrick Orlando, whose special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) raised substantial sums for Trump Media without traditional financing. Orlando privately told investors he had discussed the deal with Trump for months beforehand, violating securities rules.

Russian-Born Investor Profits Big in Pump and Dump

FBI records reveal Anton Postolnikov, an entrepreneur born in Russia, acquired a large stake in Digital World before Trump’s announcement sent stock prices soaring. Postolnikov then rapidly sold most of his holdings for a $22 million profit.

Source: Wikimedia/Aivazovsky

Another figure drawing attention is Michael Shvartsman, a Ukrainian nightclub manager turned private equity investor. Shvartsman shared inside information on the Trump Media opportunity and ultimately secured $18 million for himself, according to an affidavit. Such huge, quick gains attracted investigators.

SEC Slams Brakes on $300 Million Deal

The unusually frenzied trading activity compelled the SEC to halt the $300 million Digital World deal and bring in other agencies. Consequently, the anticipated funds that Truth Social requires to operate remain frozen indefinitely.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

After being shunned by banks due to January 6th and his bankruptcies, Trump authorized merging his firm with Orlando’s SPAC as a workaround to raise capital post-presidency. Supporters claim the delayed SEC approval shows Biden admin persecution.

Probe Documents Show Ongoing Global Crime Effort

However, discovery documents indicate the inquiry extends far beyond the SEC, involving units focused on international criminal enterprises. This suggests an ongoing probe rather than political targeting.

Source: Wikimedia/Jonathan Joseph Bondhus

Included are detailed accounts from agents specialized in uncovering global schemes, like an elite anti-money-laundering squad. Transcripts even capture an informant recording Michael Shvartsman’s attempts to transfer offshore gains he claimed were tied to Trump events.

Emails, Bank Accounts, Phones Under Review

The Post discovered a vast paper trail collected, encompassing sealed indictments, undercover operation reports, emails, wire transfer records, phone data, and warrants for digital evidence and bank accounts.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

This exhaustive cache spotlights the far-reaching nature of the multi-agency inquiry and resources dedicated to unraveling the SPAC deal and suspicious trading surrounding it. For all its breadth, specifics on entities and individuals under particular scrutiny remain undisclosed.

Trump Attorney Rejects Misconduct Claims

In response to the far-reaching investigation, Jesse Binnall, an attorney representing Trump Media, strongly asserts any alleged wrongdoings have no connections whatsoever to the former president’s company.

Source: Wikimedia/Gage Skidmore

Binnall stated, “Any allegations against Trump Media are maliciously and transparently false.” He maintains his client’s total innocence despite the intricate web of financial evidence amassed by a growing roster of federal agencies specially trained to uncover complex global criminal enterprises and money flows. Binnall argues that despite wire transfer records, documented meetings, confidential informants, and seized bank accounts suggesting objectionable activities in Trump’s orbit, the media venture itself engaged lawfully in negotiations and operations.

Russian Investor’s Lawyer Contests Allegations

Echoing Trump’s counsel, Michael Shvartsman’s lawyer rejects implications of misconduct on the Russian-born figure’s involvement with the special acquisition company arranging Trump Media’s financing.

Source: Wikimedia/Tia Dufour; Official White House Photo

Attorney Tai Park disputes allegations that Shvartsman improperly exploited insider information on Trump’s social platform to enrich himself and his associates. Park says Shvartsman entered a not-guilty plea and looks ahead to refuting claims at trial. Still, documentation shows damning informant recordings of Shvartsman discussing transfers of sizeable overseas investment profits made by capitalizing on nonpublic details of Trump’s impending media deal. How exculpatory explanations counterbalance documented admissions remains to be seen.

Undercover Recordings Ensnare Nightclub Manager

Transcripts reveal that beyond his lawyer’s ardent rebuttals, Michael Shvartsman himself made multiple admissions when caught on tape by an undercover source equipped with a concealed microphone.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

In one excerpt, the Ukrainian immigrant frankly details associates his profiting enormously by acting on special knowledge of Trump’s venture afforded to him ahead of public announcements. Shvartsman believed he was speaking freely among trustworthy compatriots rather than with his words documented. As a result, the candid captured dialogue could become vital evidentiary affirmations used to support allegations of illicit strategic self-enrichment made by prosecutors at trial.

Agencies Trace Complex Money Trail

IRS investigators aid other agencies in tracing funding flows tied to the pending Trump Media deal, seeking to illuminate the complete profiteering picture.

Source: Wikimedia/Carol M. Highsmith

Meticulous financial reconstruction underpins strategy, as agents patiently analyze records, including offshore wire transfers mentioning Trump Media as justification. Their goal is to create a money map leading to anyone enriched by nonpublic information on Trump’s plans whether criminally or through exploitative regulatory maneuvers. Where the complete intricate trail guided by bank statements, bullish investor communications, and informant transcripts remains closely held. However, documents suggest the exhaustive probe focuses on isolating every windfall recipient before potential indictments get issued.

Truth Social Launch Mired by Open-Ended Probe

While Trump Media downplays connections to suspicious activity surrounding its SPAC deal, the ongoing multi-faceted investigation leaves Truth Social’s immediate fate uncertain amid frozen funds.

Source: Wikimedia/The White House

With no charges filed yet, the eventual outcome cannot be foreseen. However, the exhaustive analysis of recordings, transactions, communications, and concealed meetings signals the federal spotlight will shine on Trump’s social media venture for the foreseeable future.

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Matty Jacobson

Written by Matty Jacobson

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