FBI raids Trump Tower condo owned by two Russian businessmen
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has raided a condo owned by two Russian businessmen at one of the three Trump Towers on Sunny Isles Beach in Florida.
A squad of FBI agents, assisted by local police, carried out the raid on Thursday morning at the luxury beachfront high-rise, The Miami Herald reports.
The target of the search, Unit 4102, is owned by a shell company, MIC-USA LLC, which is controlled by Oleg Sergeyevich Patsulya and Agunda Konstantinovna Makeeva, according to state records.
On Friday, a spokesperson for the FBI’s Miami field office said the bureau “was conducting court-ordered law enforcement activity in the vicinity of that location”.
No other information was provided and neither of the businessmen responded to the outlet’s request for comment.
Mr Patsulya’s wife, Rosa Pereira, who is also listed on the corporate paperwork for the shell company, told the Herald she was aware of the raid.
“I can’t talk about it,” she told the paper. “The lawyer [for my husband] said not to talk to anyone. ... I have no idea what it’s about.”
Donald Trump licensed his name to the Trump Towers condo project in Sunny Isles Beach, north of Miami Beach and south of Hollywood, Florida.
The Herald notes that it has been dubbed “Little Moscow” by locals because of the large number of Russian expatriates who have made it their home.
Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, there were concerns of a backlash against the affluent community as the US government pursued sanctions against Russian oligarchs, many of whom have hidden their wealth in South Florida real estate.
The former president signed the licensing deal with the developers of the three 45-floor towers before he took office to help with the promotion of the project.
According to county property records, the 41st-floor, three-bedroom, three-bathroom residence at the centre of the raid was purchased for $1.65m a decade ago.
Mr Patsulya and Mr Makeeva were sued by BAC Florida Bank in 2020 for allegedly defaulting on the $975,000 mortgage on the property.
The dispute was resolved and the condo is still owned by the two Russians.