MONEY TRAIL

Feds Probing ‘Suspicious’ Money Transfers Made After Trump Tower Meeting: Report

Federal investigators are probing two bursts of “suspicious” money transfers said to be conducted by planners and participants of the infamous Trump Tower meeting, BuzzFeed News reported Wednesday. The first batch occurred less than two weeks after the June 9, 2016, meeting, when an offshore company owned by billionaire real-estate developer Aras Agalarov wired $19.5 million to his account in New York. The second transpired shortly after the 2016 election, when $1.2 million was transferred from the Agalarov family account in Russia to a New Jersey account owned by Aras’ son, pop star Emin Agalarov, and two of his friends. That money was later sent to Ike Kaveladze, the Agalarovs’ business associate and the family’s representative at the meeting. The Agalarovs vehemently deny that there was anything illegal about their transactions. Yet several law-enforcement officials cited the series of red flags to BuzzFeed—depositing $1.2 million into an account that had barely been used, and shifting money quickly between U.S. and Russia, among others—that caused bank examiners to report the transactions to federal investigators. Although the reasons behind the transactions is unclear, investigators said they hope it could shed light on the funding of Russia’s campaign to interfere in the U.S. elections.