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Exclusive: Trump Media saved in 2022 by Russian-American under criminal investigation

Trump’s social media company went public relying partly on loans from trust managed by person of interest to prosecutors
 

 

Donald Trump’s social media company Trump Media managed to go public last week only after it had been kept afloat in 2022 by emergency loans provided in part by a Russian-American businessman under scrutiny in a federal insider-trading and money-laundering investigation.

The former US president stands to gain billions of dollars – his stake is currently valued at about $4bn – from the merger between Trump Media and Technology Group and the blank-check company Digital World Acquisition Corporation, which took the parent company of Truth Social public.
 

The situation led Trump Media to take emergency loans, including from an entity called ES Family Trust, which opened an account with Paxum Bank, a small bank registered on the Caribbean island of Dominica that is best known for providing financial services to the porn industry.

Through leaked documents, the Guardian has learned that ES Family Trust operated like a shell company for a Russian-American businessman named Anton Postolnikov, who co-owns Paxum Bank and has been a subject of a years-long joint federal criminal investigation by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) into the Trump Media merger.

The existence of the trust has previously been reported by the Guardian and the Washington Post. However, who controlled the account, how the trust was connected to Paxum Bank, and how the money had been funneled through the trust to Trump Media was unknown.

The new details about the trust are drawn from documents including: Paxum Bank records showing Postolnikov having access to the trust’s account, the papers that created the trust showing as its settlor a lawyer in St Petersburg, Russia, and three years of the trust’s financial transactions.

The concern surrounding the loans to Trump Media is that ES Family Trust may have been used to complete a transaction that Paxum itself could not.

Paxum Bank does not offer loans in the US as it lacks a US banking license and is not regulated by the FDIC. Postolnikov appears to have used the trust to loan money to help save Trump Media – and the Truth Social platform – because his bank itself could not furnish the loan.

Postolnikov, the nephew of Aleksandr Smirnov, an ally of the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has not been charged with a crime. In response to an email to Postolnikov seeking comment, a lawyer in Dominica representing Paxum Bank warned of legal action for reporting the contents of the leaked documents.

 

Part of the problem was that Trump Media struggled to get financing because traditional banks were reluctant to lend millions to Trump’s social media company in the wake of the January 6 Capitol attack, Wilkerson said.

Trump Media eventually found some lenders, including ES Family Trust, but the sequence of events was curious.

ES Family Trust was established on 18 May 2021, its creation papers show. Postolnikov’s “user” access to the account was “verified” on 30 November 2021 by a Paxum Bank manager in Dominica. The trust was funded for the first time on 2 December 2021.

Trump Media then received the loans from ES Family Trust: $2m on 23 December 2021, and $6m on 17 February 2022.

The loans came in the form of convertible promissory notes, meaning ES Family Trust would gain a major stake in Trump Media because it was offering the money in exchange for Trump Media agreeing to convert the loan principal into “shares of Company Stock”.

Oddly, the notes were never signed. But the investment in Trump Media proved to be huge: while precise figures can only be known by Trump Media, ES Family Trust’s stake in Trump Media is worth between $20m and $40m even after the sharp decline of the company’s share price in the wake of a poor earnings report.

The ES Family Trust account also appears to have benefited Postolnikov personally. As the criminal investigation into the Trump Media deal intensified towards the end of last year, the trust recorded several transfers to Postolnikov with the subject line “Partial Loan Return”.

 

The reason for the trust’s creation remains unknown. Aside from the money that went to Trump Media, the trust’s statements show the trust has directly invested money with only two other companies: $10.8m to Eleven Ventures LLC, a venture capital firm, and $1m to Wedbush Securities, a wealth management firm.

The current status of ES Family Trust is also unknown. The trust’s address is listed as a residential home in Hollywood, Florida. But, according to the property website Redfin, the six-bedroom home appears to have been sold in December 2023.

The creation papers also contained something notable: a declaration that, if the original trustee – a Paxum employee named Angel Pacheco – stepped down from the role, his successor would be a certain individual named Michael Shvartsman.

Sprawling money-laundering investigation

Last month, federal prosecutors charged Michael Shvartsman, a close associate of Postolnikov, with money laundering in a superseding indictment after previously charging him and two others in July with insider-trading Digital World shares. Shvartsman and his co-defendants pleaded not guilty.

At least part of the evidence against Shvartsman came from a confidential informant for the DHS, court filings show: in one March 2023 meeting with the informant and an associate, Shvartsman mentioned a friend who owned a bank in Dominica and made bridge loans to Trump Media.

“[Shvartsman] stated that a friend of his owns a bank in the island of Dominica and would be able to provide banking services to Russian and Ukraine Nationals if the [confidential informant] had other clients in need of that service,” the DHS report said.

 

..,,

 

https://amp.theguardian.com/us-news/2024/apr/03/trump-media-es-family-trust-2022-loans

Edited by BeaverFever
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  • BeaverFever changed the title to Truth Social Financed by Secretive Offshore Fund Connected to Putin Crony
26 minutes ago, Nationalist said:

You guys are hilarious.

 

What’s hilarious is how much money Trump supporters are going to lose on Trump’s pump and dump stock scheme.

I’m willing to bet that you read my posts and saw the charts I posted and decided not to invest.  And if you invested anyway, you’re a special kind of stupld

Edited by Rebound
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29 minutes ago, Rebound said:

What’s hilarious is how much money Trump supporters are going to lose on Trump’s pump and dump stock scheme.

I’m willing to bet that you read my posts and saw the charts I posted and decided not to invest.  And if you invested anyway, you’re a special kind of stupld

I only invest in commodities.

What's hilarious is the seething hatred you guys have.

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9 minutes ago, Nationalist said:

I only invest in commodities.

What's hilarious is the seething hatred you guys have.

It's far more hilarious that you FAIL to understand what there is to hate in Trump.

You really LOVE the pu$$y grabber. LMAO

Or just celebrate his destruction of our nation. 🤮

But that is the nature of the MAGA CULT: detached from reality.

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21 hours ago, robosmith said:

It's far more hilarious that you FAIL to understand what there is to hate in Trump.

You really LOVE the pu$$y grabber. LMAO

Or just celebrate his destruction of our nation. 🤮

But that is the nature of the MAGA CULT: detached from reality.

Speaking of being detached from reality...do you ever re-read your posts?

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On 4/5/2024 at 7:51 AM, BeaverFever said:

Exclusive: Trump Media saved in 2022 by Russian-American under criminal investigation

Trump’s social media company went public relying partly on loans from trust managed by person of interest to prosecutors
 

 

Donald Trump’s social media company Trump Media managed to go public last week only after it had been kept afloat in 2022 by emergency loans provided in part by a Russian-American businessman under scrutiny in a federal insider-trading and money-laundering investigation.

The former US president stands to gain billions of dollars – his stake is currently valued at about $4bn – from the merger between Trump Media and Technology Group and the blank-check company Digital World Acquisition Corporation, which took the parent company of Truth Social public.
 

The situation led Trump Media to take emergency loans, including from an entity called ES Family Trust, which opened an account with Paxum Bank, a small bank registered on the Caribbean island of Dominica that is best known for providing financial services to the porn industry.

Through leaked documents, the Guardian has learned that ES Family Trust operated like a shell company for a Russian-American businessman named Anton Postolnikov, who co-owns Paxum Bank and has been a subject of a years-long joint federal criminal investigation by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) into the Trump Media merger.

The existence of the trust has previously been reported by the Guardian and the Washington Post. However, who controlled the account, how the trust was connected to Paxum Bank, and how the money had been funneled through the trust to Trump Media was unknown.

The new details about the trust are drawn from documents including: Paxum Bank records showing Postolnikov having access to the trust’s account, the papers that created the trust showing as its settlor a lawyer in St Petersburg, Russia, and three years of the trust’s financial transactions.

The concern surrounding the loans to Trump Media is that ES Family Trust may have been used to complete a transaction that Paxum itself could not.

Paxum Bank does not offer loans in the US as it lacks a US banking license and is not regulated by the FDIC. Postolnikov appears to have used the trust to loan money to help save Trump Media – and the Truth Social platform – because his bank itself could not furnish the loan.

Postolnikov, the nephew of Aleksandr Smirnov, an ally of the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has not been charged with a crime. In response to an email to Postolnikov seeking comment, a lawyer in Dominica representing Paxum Bank warned of legal action for reporting the contents of the leaked documents.

 

Part of the problem was that Trump Media struggled to get financing because traditional banks were reluctant to lend millions to Trump’s social media company in the wake of the January 6 Capitol attack, Wilkerson said.

Trump Media eventually found some lenders, including ES Family Trust, but the sequence of events was curious.

ES Family Trust was established on 18 May 2021, its creation papers show. Postolnikov’s “user” access to the account was “verified” on 30 November 2021 by a Paxum Bank manager in Dominica. The trust was funded for the first time on 2 December 2021.

Trump Media then received the loans from ES Family Trust: $2m on 23 December 2021, and $6m on 17 February 2022.

The loans came in the form of convertible promissory notes, meaning ES Family Trust would gain a major stake in Trump Media because it was offering the money in exchange for Trump Media agreeing to convert the loan principal into “shares of Company Stock”.

Oddly, the notes were never signed. But the investment in Trump Media proved to be huge: while precise figures can only be known by Trump Media, ES Family Trust’s stake in Trump Media is worth between $20m and $40m even after the sharp decline of the company’s share price in the wake of a poor earnings report.

The ES Family Trust account also appears to have benefited Postolnikov personally. As the criminal investigation into the Trump Media deal intensified towards the end of last year, the trust recorded several transfers to Postolnikov with the subject line “Partial Loan Return”.

 

The reason for the trust’s creation remains unknown. Aside from the money that went to Trump Media, the trust’s statements show the trust has directly invested money with only two other companies: $10.8m to Eleven Ventures LLC, a venture capital firm, and $1m to Wedbush Securities, a wealth management firm.

The current status of ES Family Trust is also unknown. The trust’s address is listed as a residential home in Hollywood, Florida. But, according to the property website Redfin, the six-bedroom home appears to have been sold in December 2023.

The creation papers also contained something notable: a declaration that, if the original trustee – a Paxum employee named Angel Pacheco – stepped down from the role, his successor would be a certain individual named Michael Shvartsman.

Sprawling money-laundering investigation

Last month, federal prosecutors charged Michael Shvartsman, a close associate of Postolnikov, with money laundering in a superseding indictment after previously charging him and two others in July with insider-trading Digital World shares. Shvartsman and his co-defendants pleaded not guilty.

At least part of the evidence against Shvartsman came from a confidential informant for the DHS, court filings show: in one March 2023 meeting with the informant and an associate, Shvartsman mentioned a friend who owned a bank in Dominica and made bridge loans to Trump Media.

“[Shvartsman] stated that a friend of his owns a bank in the island of Dominica and would be able to provide banking services to Russian and Ukraine Nationals if the [confidential informant] had other clients in need of that service,” the DHS report said.

 

..,,

 

https://amp.theguardian.com/us-news/2024/apr/03/trump-media-es-family-trust-2022-loans

It's good to see the former and future President working WITH the Russians rather than trying to start a war. Good for Trump. 

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1 minute ago, robosmith said:

Do you ever think before you post BANKRUPT BULLSHIT like ^this?

Yes of course. I'm honestly curious. Do you re-read the things you type before posting?

I mean really robo-bot. Among the nonsense you post, you think the last year of the Trump presidency and all the Rona BS that was going on, that you can use the plummeting of the economy, and people getting sick, as a club. A weapon to attack Trump with. Yet...this same POTUS gave America a roaring economy, security, and that vaxx you imposed on everyone...that proved to be about useless...and didn't do the job we were told it would...AND created some rather nasty side effects. Do you not understand how "thin" that is?

So what do you think? That because you find the man detestable, that you must hate and make yourself look like a simpleton, in a war against Orangemanbad?

Do you not realize that Brandon's blundering is going to lead to WWIII? The world...humanity itself...cannot afford 4 more years of Brandon and his merry pack o' jackles.

26 minutes ago, Deluge said:

It's good to see the former and future President working WITH the Russians rather than trying to start a war. Good for Trump. 

I have to agree with this.

For several reasons.

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1 hour ago, Nationalist said:

Yes of course. I'm honestly curious. Do you re-read the things you type before posting?

I mean really robo-bot. Among the nonsense you post, you think the last year of the Trump presidency and all the Rona BS that was going on, that you can use the plummeting of the economy, and people getting sick, as a club. A weapon to attack Trump with. Yet...this same POTUS gave America a roaring economy, security, and that vaxx you imposed on everyone...that proved to be about useless...and didn't do the job we were told it would...AND created some rather nasty side effects. Do you not understand how "thin" that is?

So what do you think? That because you find the man detestable, that you must hate and make yourself look like a simpleton, in a war against Orangemanbad?

Do you not realize that Brandon's blundering is going to lead to WWIII? The world...humanity itself...cannot afford 4 more years of Brandon and his merry pack o' jackles.

Trump continued the expansion PUT IN PLACE by Obama. Growth rate was the SAME.

Then he destroyed the economy with INCOMPETENT MANAGEMENT of the pandemic.

You've proven over and over that you ONLY LISTEN to the right wing echo chamber and KNOW NOTHING about the things that Trump did to make the pandemic HERE much worse than it was where YOU LIVE.

The FACT is, the vaxx worked, whether you believe that or not. The ONLY thing Trump did to help was promote the distribution of the vaxx with money to buy it.

image.thumb.png.3426b4f2b64be03a5ace4f143685a24c.png

 

Everyone else knows that you stop a BULLY by standing up to him. Only you cowards want to surrender.

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17 minutes ago, robosmith said:

Trump continued the expansion PUT IN PLACE by Obama. Growth rate was the SAME.

Then he destroyed the economy with INCOMPETENT MANAGEMENT of the pandemic.

You've proven over and over that you ONLY LISTEN to the right wing echo chamber and KNOW NOTHING about the things that Trump did to make the pandemic HERE much worse than it was where YOU LIVE.

The FACT is, the vaxx worked, whether you believe that or not. The ONLY thing Trump did to help was promote the distribution of the vaxx with money to buy it.

image.thumb.png.3426b4f2b64be03a5ace4f143685a24c.png

 

Everyone else knows that you stop a BULLY by standing up to him. Only you cowards want to surrender.

Ok so you're really dumb and full of irrational hatred. Got it.

And so will you...

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