Manafort and his son-in-law, Jeffrey Yohai, are both being investigated by the FBI for money used to finance luxury homes and apartments in New York and California.
Yohai, who married Manafort’s daughter Jessica in 2013, formed shell companies to purchase luxury properties in the Hollywood Hills with money from Manafort. Hacked text messages stolen from the phone of Manafort’s other daughter, Andrea, reveal that Paul Manafort had a “50/50” stake in the company with Yohai, and that Andrea Manafort suspected her brother-in-law was running a Ponzi scheme.
“Her hubby is running a Ponzi scheme,” Andrea Manafort wrote in the hacked texts. “I’m sure of it.”
Yohai was accused of running a Ponzi scheme in 2016 in a lawsuit filed by Guy Aroch, a fashion photographer who says he invested $2.9 million in Yohai and Manafort’s business, according to the report. Yohai denied the accusations in a court filing.
Yohai also managed to entangle some celebrity support.
Dustin Hoffman, and his son, Jacob, are said to have invested around $3 million in the venture.
Aroch’s lawsuit accuses Yohai of creating a “web of dozens of limited liability companies” to repay investors with new money from newer investors to give the illusion of quick returns on investments.
According to the report, it’s unclear whether the FBI investigation into these financial transactions is related to the broader FBI probe into collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Many of Manafort’s real estate purchases were related to his lobbying work for a Russian-backed political party in Ukraine.
The games rich people play.
It doesn’t seem that this will have any bearing on the broader investigation that involves Manafort and his Russian connections. That’s my initial impression.
Manafort, however, just seems to have a problem with keeping his name unsullied by corrupt deals.