As the Trump Organization pursued a licensing deal for the planned Trump Tower Moscow, former Donald Trump associate Felix Sater pushed in December 2015 to organize a visit to Russia to advance the project.
Sater told Trump’s then-lawyer Michael Cohen he had the ear of Russia’s second-biggest bank, state-owned VTB Group, to discuss financing the potentially $1 billion deal. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report shows that instead he was talking with Genbank, a lender operating in Crimea after Russia annexed it from Ukraine. The bank was owned by Yevgeny Dvoskin, who in 2000 was deported from the U.S. after being convicted of tax fraud and remained under indictment in the U.S. for stock fraud. The Mueller report cites phone records as showing Sater spoke to Dvoskin by phone about the deal.