Welcome to Pay Dirt—exclusive reporting and research from The Daily Beast’s Lachlan Markay on corruption, campaign finance, and influence-peddling in the nation’s capital. For Beast Inside members only.
A Venezuelan national previously accused of complicity in a massive fraud and corruption scheme bought an expensive condo in a New York City building owned by President Donald Trump and then flipped the property to a company accused of laundering proceeds from the scheme.
Moris Beracha, a former adviser to Venezuela’s finance minister, was one of the wealthiest people in the country when he was sued in 2011 by a court-appointed receiver in the U.S. over his alleged role in a nine-figure Ponzi scheme involving his nation’s state-owned oil company. The architect of that scheme, Venezuelan-American hedge-fund manager Francisco Illarramendi, was sentenced to 13 years in prison in 2013 after pleading guilty to fraud and obstruction charges.