Russian Lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya Charged In Money Laundering Case

Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya speaks during an interview in Moscow Russia

Russian Lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya Charged In Money Laundering Case

According to the indictment, (via The New York Times) Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman accuses Veselnitskaya of attempting to interfere with the money laundering investigation of a prominent Russian businessman and his investment firm. Prosecutors allege the company received and laundered millions of dollars of proceeds as part of a complex Russian tax refund scheme that defrauded Russian taxpayers out of more than $200 million.

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Natalia Veselnitskaya is accused of fabricating evidence in a USA money-laundering case she was working on when she visited Trump Tower in June 2016 to meet senior Trump advisers including his son Donald Jr and son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Donald Trump Jr, the President's son, has said he agreed to the meeting after being promised damaging information on Hillary Clinton, Mr Trump's Democratic opponent.

These "supposed investigative findings by the Russian government-findings purportedly exonerating Veselnitskaya's clients - under the false pretense that these findings had been independently drafted by the Russian government".

James Margolin, a spokesman for the Manhattan U.S. attorney's office, said Veselnitskaya's criminal case did not originate from a referral by Mueller, noting the allegations relate only to her work for the Russian company and "are unrelated to any other investigation". "His son Denis Katsyv was involved in a tax fraud scheme worth around $230 million via a Prevezon Holdings Ltd. based in Cyprus, which was discovered by Sergei Magnitsky, an accountant who died in a Russian prison".

Russian authorities took a different course and later accused him of having participated in the fraud scheme himself. She has previously denied working on behalf of the Russian government.

Katzyv eventually settled the case by paying $6 million without an admission of guilt.

Veselnitskaya, a 43-year-old attorney based in Russian Federation, did not respond to a telephone call and text message from The Associated Press.

Veselnitskaya is based in Moscow at the law firm Camerton Consulting.

"No, we do not know who it is, and, of course, we can not track the meetings of all Russian lawyers, both inside the country and overseas", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters at the time, when asked if her meeting at Trump Tower was coordinated with Russian authorities.

In 2016, Congress expanded the Magnitsky Act was expanded globally to cover any officials involved in human rights abuses.

Prevezon Holdings, the company at the centre of the case, was ordered to pay nearly $6m ($5m) to the USA government in a civil settlement.

Both Fusion and Veselnitskaya were working for Prevezon in the NY case. A third-party had indicated Veselnitskaya had dirt on Hillary Clinton.

The case in question is unrelated to the Trump Tower meeting.

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