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Feds raided Broidy in international money laundering probe

Elliott Broidy is a former RNC deputy Finance Chair, and until now a sleazy bit player in the Trump corruption drama. Playboy model Shera Bechard alleged he [breached a $1.6M agreement]( to keep her quiet about their affair; there were also rumors about an abortion and speculation that Broidy was covering for Trump.

But the story is far bigger than sex.

# Conspiracy, money laundering, covert lobbying

In August 2018, the [Washington Post reported]( Broidy was under investigation for alleged efforts to sell government influence.

Now [Raw Story reports]( a sealed search warrant reveals the Feds raided Broidy’s office last summer looking for evidence related to a list of **dozens of people, countries and corporate entities.**

The warrant cites conspiracy, money laundering and covert lobbying on behalf of foreign officials. To get the warrant, the Feds had to convince a judge there’s probable cause they’ll find evidence of those specific crimes.

The Feds were not screwing around: agents were authorized to use Broidy’s hands and face to unlock any phones that required fingerprint or facial scans. The raid sought evidence relating to:

# Middle East (Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE)

* Rick Gates (Manafort pal; pled guilty to other charges in the Mueller probe);
* Colfax Law Office (founded by Broidy’s wife);
* Any travel to the Middle East
* Qatar
* Saudi Arabia
* UAE adviser George Nader (cooperating witness in the Mueller investigation)
* United Arab Emirates

The [New York Times reported last year]( Broidy worked with Nader to steer the White House toward decisions benefiting the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Documents reviewed by the Times showed Nader tempted Broidy with promises of $1B+ in contracts for Broidy’s private security company. Hacked communications showed Nader praised Broidy for “how well you handle Chairman” — a reference to Trump.

# Malaysia

Broidy allegedly worked for Malaysian financier Jho Low, who’s at the center of a sprawling international scandal known as [1MDB]( In [November](, the DOJ unveiled a bribery and money laundering case against Low.

In a [separate filing](, the Justice Department alleged Broidy was paid by Low to lobby Trump administration officials to ease off on U.S. investigations into Low. Broidy is not identified by name in the filings, but is thought to be “Individual No. 1.” Broidy has not been yet been charged with a crime.

# China

The Feds also sought records related to China and [Guo Wengui](, a Chinese billionaire and dissident who fled to New York, where he publicly accused the Chinese government of corruption and has been working with Steve Bannon (a bizarro plot twist, I grant you, but truth really is stranger than fiction).

Wengui is on China’s most-wanted list, accused of bribery, fraud and money laundering.

The Times reported that Broidy explored plans to use his influence with the White House to force Wengui out of the United States, apparently as part of an effort to curry favor with the Chinese and other foreign officials, and ultimately earn a payoff.

# Bonus Mystery: Joel Rousseau, Intelligent Resources, and… The Fugees?

An odd entry on the search warrant list is Joel Rouseau and Intelligent Resources. There is a company by that name incorporated in Miami Beach by a Joel Rousseau, who is a friend of Pras Michel of The Fugees – who the DOJ says funnelled the money to pay Broidy into the United States. The search warrant does not describe Rousseau or Intelligent Resources’ role in the case.

The scope of all of this corruption is dizzying. And this is just the stuff we know about.

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4 thoughts on “Feds raided Broidy in international money laundering probe

  1. Lets not sell Broidy short.

    * In 2002, Broidy founded Markstone Capital, a private equity firm which invested in companies in Israel. The lead investor was the New York State Common Pension Fund. The pension fund invested $250 million with Markstone. Broidy later was accused of giving illegal gifts to pension authorities, several of whom went to prison. In exchange for his testimony against them, Broidy pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and paid $18 million in restitution.

    * he served as a vice chairman of the Presidential Inaugural Committee, which is currently under investigation.

    * In April 2017 Broidy was named a national deputy finance chairmen of the RNC. NRA anyone?

    * In October 2017 in a private meeting with U.S. president Donald Trump, Broidy praised a paramilitary force his company Circinus was creating for the UAE. He urged the president to meet with the UAE’s military commander Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, to support the UAE’s hawkish policies in the Middle East, and to fire U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

    * In 2018, Broidy intended to take a business trip with George Nader to meet with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, in order to sell the prince a $650 million contract with Circinus. The plan fell apart when F.B.I. agents took Nader in for questioning upon his arrival at Dulles Airport.

    * Broidy is under a criminal investigation launched by the Prosecutor General of Ukraine for Broidy’s June 12, 2014, deal to provide political support for VTB Bank and Investment Capital Ukraine (ICU), which acts as a financial advisor to President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko. Broidy was to receive five payments of $2.5 million each through the British Virgin Islands firm with a Dubai address, Quillas Equities SA, which has Yuri Soloviev as a large shareholder according to the Panama Papers. Yuri Soloviev is a member of the management board for VTB and is the first deputy president and chairman of its management board.

    * Broidy paid Rick Gates, Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, at least $125,000 for “advice and business insight.” Gates had been indicted in October 2017 as a result of the probe by special counsel Robert Mueller into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. The payments began in March 2017 and went on until at least July.

    Broidy is as dirty as Manafort.

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