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Wed 19 February 2020
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Forensic News has more revelations about Donald Trump’s finances in 2013, just as he hit a debt crisis and visited Moscow.

Original report by Scott Stedman, Bobby DeNault, Adrienne Cobb and Jess Coleman

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A Russian government-controlled bank deposited at least half a billion dollars into the American subsidiary of Deutsche Bank around the time that the bank lent Trump his most scrutinized loans, according to exclusively obtained confidential bank records. 

In confidential bank records investigated by Forensic News and also seen by Byline Times, Gazprombank sent $511 million in cash to DBTCA in October 2013 to be dispersed however the Russian bank directed just as Trump received loans from the subsidiary, DBTCA, totaling over $360 million.

Late 2013 was the time Donald Trump was visiting Moscow for his Miss Universe competition and beginning discussions about building a Trump Tower in the Russian Capital.


Whistle Blower

The 2013 cash injections were discovered by whistleblower Val Broeksmit in a cache of documents belonging to his father who was an executive at DBTCA and Deutsche Bank. Bill Broeksmit committed suicide in early 2014. 

Examining his father’s emails and files soon after his death, Broeksmit reviewed a breach report which covered all liabilities of DBTC, the holding company for DBTCA, according to bank documents.

DBTCA loaned Donald Trump a significant portion of the $2.5 billion total lent to him by Deutsche Bank. The breach report provided by Broeksmit is an inside look into DBTCA’s complete financials around the time DBTCA issued several of its largest loans to Trump. 

Gazprombank publicly admits that DBTCA is their correspondent bank in America, though the full nature of the relationship between the two banks remains murky. 

Banking experts suggested that Russia’s disproportionately large share of capital in DBTCA raised questions about why other banks were unwilling to manage their cash. Generally, financial experts indicated the relationship was an unusual one for the American subsidiary of a bank which demands more explanation from Deutsche Bank officials.

Both Deutsche Bank and Gazprombank have faced a series of fines and regulatory actions after failing to stop Russian money laundering. In early 2017, Deutsche Bank was fined $630 million by the New York Fed for a Russian money-laundering scheme that involved its Moscow, New York, and London branches.

Ilya Zaslavskiy, the Head of Research at the Free Russia Foundation, explained how Gazprombank has been used as a tool of the Kremlin, saying, “Gazprom and the government have control stake and have used this bank on multiple occasions for vested interests and special operations, like fake auctions of… assets or paying to Putin’s cronies for exaggerated contracts/deals.”


Russian Reliance

The revelation that the Russian government was converting billions of rubles to dollars via the same Deutsche Bank subsidiary that lent to Donald Trump adds further intrigue to President Trump’s finances and possible counterintelligence concerns.

Trump’s snowballing debts with DBTCA were peaking in 2013, and the Deutsche Bank’s subsidiary debt to Gazprom accounted for 44% of their portfolio — around half a billion dollars — which is equal to amount loaned to Trump

Private banks, especially in authoritarian countries such as Russia, are often also tools of the state even if they aren’t directly owned by the government. 

Previously Val Broeksmit revealed to Forensic News that he had told the FBI that another Russian bank, VTB, underwrote the Trump loans, essentially guaranteeing a valve of money to Trump which DBTCA provided. 

Deutsche Bank faced prior scrutiny for a $1 billion loan (later restructured to $790 million) to VTB Bank, a bank also majority-owned by the Russian government. That loan was first issued in 2007, and the Wall Street Journal later reported Deutsche Bank executives raced to shed the remaining balance on it shortly after Trump’s election.

Val Broeksmit told the Byline Times that he hoped these new documents could “ameliorate any intent of obfuscation by Deutsche Bank”.

Read the full Forensic News report here.


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