Kleptocracy Daily: April 4, 2017


A former advisor to President Trump’s election campaign has admitted contact with a Russian spy in 2013, allegedly providing them with “documents about the energy business,” according to a 2015 court filing.

Bank of America Corp. is using a recent assessment of the money laundering risk in the U.S. economy to help determine risk among its customers, according to a bank official. (WSJ)

The Senate Judiciary Committee chairman asks how authorities are enforcing disclosure rules for foreign lobbying in light of revelations that a Washington opposition research firm was apparently involved in a pro-Russian lobbying campaign at the same time that it was overseeing the unverified dossier about the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia. (POLITICO)

The UAE arranged a secret meeting in January between Blackwater founder Erik Prince and a Russian close to President Putin as part of an apparent effort to establish a back-channel line of communication between Moscow and President-elect Trump, according to U.S., European and Arab officials. (WaPo)

Russian oil giant Rosneft hopes to benefit from European court rulings that have allowed some Iranian banks to escape from EU sanctions. (RFE/RL)

Kazakhstan has successfully argued in a U.S. appeals court that it can file suit against a former top official in California for compensation over alleged acts of corruption that occurred more than a decade ago. (EurasiaNet)

A Swiss financial watchdog investigated more than twice as many breaches of anti-money laundering rules in 2016 as it did a year earlier.

Spain has ordered properties to be seized and bank accounts frozen in a money laundering investigation linked to the family of Rifaat al-Assad. (BBC)

A Russian governor has been arrested on suspicion of taking a $2.5 million bribe in the Kremlin’s latest high-profile anti-corruption sting operation. (Moscow Times)

Russian President Putin has signed a law that exempts Russians who are under Western sanctions from paying taxes in Russia if they are registered as taxpayers abroad. (RFE/RL)

The IMF has approved a $1 billion loan payment to Ukraine; the IMF is supporting Ukraine with a $17.5 billion bailout program in exchange for Kyiv implementing reforms and tackling corruption. (RFE/RL)

Stephen Feinberg, the billionaire under consideration for a national security role in the Trump administration, is seeking to keep his stake in his $30 billion investment firm. (Bloomberg)

In one of the largest penalties awarded against a law firm, Clyde & Co has been fined £50,000 for breaching accounting and money laundering rules. (Legal Business)


The Moscow Times discusses the Kremlin’s reply to anti-corruption demonstrations: we can deal with it ourselves.

ProPublica argues that Trump can pull money from his businesses whenever he wants due to previously unreported changes to his trust.