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Eric Adams’ UN man Edward Mermelstein linked to ex-Mogul Pavel Fuks in Moscow gets punished

Mayor of New York City Eric Adams’s Liaison with the United Nations and the city’s foreign consulates said His mission is to bring international business back to the city ravaged by the pandemic. But Adams’ image as a former crime cop stands in stark contrast to the types of foreign investments his international affairs commissioner, Edward Mermelstein, has engaged in.

Report on Mermelstein now focused on his former leadership of a nonprofit founded by a sanctioned oil and aluminum tycoon. Viktor Vekselberg, and his self-promoting enthusiasm a decade ago as an expert on the asset acquisition of post-Soviet autocracy. And, in fact, New York property and corporation records show that Mermelstein’s former Manhattan law office was at the center of a vast web of untenable entities that controlled some real estate The most expensive and exclusive in the city.

But Mermelstein is also associated with a figure perhaps even darker than Putin-friendly Vekselberg: the former Moscow real estate mogul born in Ukraine. Pavel Fuksa widely recognized financier that many experts have identified with The Daily Beast as affiliation of organized crimeand who In 2021 the lawsuit allegedly working for Russian intelligence and international drug traffickers.

Fuks, who was reportedly barred from entering the US in 2017, rose to prominence in the US a decade ago as the developer behind the aborted Trump-branded development in Moscow — and was the patron of Adams’ predecessor, Rudy Giuliani.

“Honestly, he’s the mafia, that’s the simplest way to put it,” said Olga Lautman, a senior fellow at the nonprofit Center for European Policy Analysis and an expert on organized crime. and spies in former Soviet countries, talking about Fuks.

In a statement to The Daily Beast, the mayor’s office noted Mermelstein’s origins in Ukraine and his fat Rolodex, and insisted he had only ever had a “limited business relationship” with Fuks. Adams’ team also asserted that Mermelstein’s service to him in the face of all allegations of tycoon misconduct.

“If you’re in real estate, you’re in organized crime. You cannot avoid it.”

“The clients were examined not only by the commissioner but also by banks, lawyers and investors,” said Deputy Press Secretary Ivette Davila-Richards. “It became clear that the commissioner would not represent them after the allegations came to light.”

But Lautman told The Daily Beast that contact with Russian underworld figures and intelligence agents – and the two becoming indistinguishable – was a prerequisite for success in Moscow after 1991, especially during a period of extremely corrupt rule at the end of the year. Mayor Yury LuzhkovOne Fuks ally.

“Pavel Fuks has been in business with pretty much all of them since the 1990s,” she said.

Anders Aslund, an economist and former adviser to the Russian and Ukrainian authorities, agrees that crowdsourcing is essential for property developers like Fuks’ Mos City Group.

Aslund told The Daily Beast: “If you’re in real estate, you’re committing organized crime. “You can’t stay away from it.”

One year 2018 Al Jazeera file described how Fuks, nicknamed “The Mercenary”, bragged on television about physically torturing those who disobeyed him, and engaged in property and financial dealings with a series of known scammers and criminals.

Real estate also connects Fuks and Mermelstein: a pair of deals not in one of Moscow’s glittering districts, but along one of New York’s most coveted streets.

On November 15, 2013, Fuks’s wife, Tatiana Kudinawith ink mortgage paperwork for a $4.8 million condominium at 15 Central Park West that irrevocably “designated and appointed” Mermelstein as her agent, making him attorney and agent Exactly that day, she signed it other documents accepted the power of attorney from her husband that Fuks had signed for her in Russia just three weeks earlier.

Documents filed in New York court show this isn’t the first time the power couple has done business with Mermelstein — or at 15 Central Park West. A short and amicably settled lawsuit Kudina filed in 2012 revealed that she lent another Mermelstein client $3 million to purchase another apartment in the building, with the company of Mermelstein as escrow agent. (The lawsuit also reveals that British historian Andrew Roberts, an adviser to the right-wing thinkers and to Former President George W. Bush, was residing in the apartment with his wife at the time of the lawsuit. Roberts declined to comment.)

Before dropping the lawsuit, Kudina tried to force Mermelstein’s company to transfer her shares in the apartment to a bank account belonging to BEM Global Corp. Materials revealed in Leaked Panama Papers indicates that BEM Global is a shareholder of a company affiliated with Fuks, Dorchester International, and English and Report in Russian identified BEM Global as belonging to Fuks’ brother, a regular business partner.

In 2015, Barclays Bank reported to the U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, BEM Global paid $1 million to the former deputy mayor of Moscow, a disbursement that the lender called “suspicious,” made by the official. This oversees one of the real estate projects signed by the brothers. It is not clear how US authorities have reacted to the flag. But the Fuks activities will only come under more and more legal and pervasive scrutiny in the years to come.

“You can’t be a lawyer for Pavel Fuks’ wife.”

Fuks is one of the characters that attracts the attention of special counsel Robert Mueller, due to his attempt to obtain tickets to former President Donald Trump’s 2017 inauguration, which foreign nationals are not allowed to purchase. Fuks traveled to the United States for the event with a Ukrainian parliamentary ally of former President Viktor Yanukovych, a puppet of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and the pair were take a photo with House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy.

Fuks raises even more questions when he revealed that he was involved in negotiations in the 2000s with the Trump family about building the project Trump had long dreamed of but never came to fruition in Moscow — and the mystery only thickened when Washington Post found out that Fuks testified in court that he do not entry United States, without providing any reason for his exclusion. The parcel Report is one in a series new stories about Fuks’ payments to Giuliani to work on behalf of his hometown of Kharkiv, Ukraine, where Fuks returned in 2015 and quickly developed a close relationship with the city The mayor was then affiliated with Russia.

In 2018, Ukrainian prosecutors probed Fuks allegedly acquired assets belonging to Yanukovych held in companies based in Cyprus – a notorious haven for dirty money – and allegedly stolen from the country. In early 2019, Ukrainian news agencies tied Fuks to a giant heroin ring captured in Kyiv, and cited law enforcement sources claiming that the developer brought the drug into Ukraine beyond Central Asia.

It is not clear how these investigations were resolved, but in 2021 the administration of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky Fuks is sanctioned with Putin’s ally Dmytro Firtashaccused Fuks of improperly obtained fossil fuel mining license from the Yanukovych regime. Fuks, then operating in the capital Kyiv, asserted that the allegations were politically motivated attacks from rival businessmen.

Later that year, Fuks — who used to get an award from Putin for his contributions to the Russian economy — finds himself on the list of Ukraine-based entrepreneurs recognized Punishment of Russia, which the Atlantic Council calls one of the “most surprising inclusions.” In 2019, he was arrested in absentia and accused of cheating at a court in Moscow.

Aslund, an economist and former policy adviser to Russia and Ukraine, describes Fuks as a “confused man” who has repeatedly reoriented his allegiance, most recently against Russia and the opposition. with Ukraine. CEPA’s Lautman was more skeptical, labeling Russia’s sanctions and accusations as “BS” and suggesting that they were intended to cover up the Fuks to secretly advance Moscow’s interests in Ukraine.

“They look more to the West, to create this facade: that this person is being prosecuted, he is an enemy of the Russian government,” Lautman said.

ONE litigation Republican Party Fundraising and lobbying Yury Vanetik filed against Fuks last year supported this assessment. The civil complaint asserts that Fuks is an “agent of Russian intelligence services” and that “since 2015 Fuks fled to Ukraine for good purposes but maintains ties with Russian intelligence agencies and services.” ,” and is also a “money maker” for Russian drug cartels. Fuks, who sue Vanetik in 2019 for not being able to provide Illegal ticket to the presidential inauguration, called the suit “unreasonable. ”

The most recent attorney of record for Fuks, who represented him in the case against Vanetik, did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

Mermelstein’s law firm, maintain an office in Moscow, has served thousands of other customers whose identities remain shrouded in corporate obscurity. By his own admission in previous interviews, much of the business comes from individuals working in the controlling Kremlin. oil industry and affected by Punishment and instability after Russia’s first invasion of Ukraine in 2014.

But Mermelstein’s service to Fuks, especially Mermelstein’s, bothered Lautman.

“You can’t be a lawyer for Pavel Fuks’ wife,” Lautman said. “For a figure in the US government to have these kinds of relationships, it’s very disturbing and shouldn’t be allowed.”

https://www.thedailybeast.com/eric-adams-united-nations-man-edward-mermelstein-linked-to-sanctioned-ex-moscow-mogul-pavel-fuks?source=articles&via=rss Eric Adams’ UN man Edward Mermelstein linked to ex-Mogul Pavel Fuks in Moscow gets punished

Russell Falcon

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