A company loaned Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort’s family $1 million. For some reason, the family has been fighting tooth and nail to keep the lender’s backers’ names secret from Special Counsel Robert Mueller. One hint: the company is located in Nevada.
It seems that Manafort took a page from Trump’s business habits and has not repaid the loan. Bloomberg News wrote that the lender claimed:
‘(It has) a right to be paid back without Mueller asking too many questions. The lender offered to identify the money’s source to Mueller if he promised to keep it confidential, according to a court filing on Monday. Mueller refused.’
The secretly held lender wrote in its court documents:
‘Woodlawn decided to go ahead with the loan because Woodlawn’s investors were worried that the Manaforts could sue them for breach of contract. This was an arms-length (sic) loan at a market rate of interest by a legitimate lender, not a sham.’
Court filings by the company revealed that it is Woodlawn LLC, which is suing Manafort to collect its monies. However, the people behind the company remain a mystery. The filing said that the court should not let the special counsel run up the company’s fees and costs “by engaging in wasteful discovery.”
Manafort took out the loan of $1,025,000 under a company owned by his wife just at the time Mueller raided his properties. The former campaign manager guaranteed the loan by using his Baxter Street condominium in Manhattan as collateral.
Unfortunately, Manafort had to turn many of his assets over to the government, and that included the Baxter Street condominium, which was his loan collateral. Now, Woodlawn claims “first priority lien” and wants it back.
Woodlawn hired a Hollywood bit actor Joey Rappa as the company’s manager in 2018. For some reason, the individual(s) behind the company’s letterhead did not want to identify themselves due to “potential for public embarrassment,” according to the company’s attorney, Keith Berglund.
In December, Berglund replaced Rappa as the managing member. Then, Woodlawn hired attorney David Smith to handle to forfeiture case. Woodlawn hired attorney David Smith to handle to forfeiture case.
The former Trump campaign manager was apparently quite strapped for cash after his consulting gig in Ukraine fell through and given his high living style. Still, Manafort told the president he would work for free, something that appealed to Trump’s notorious stinginess.
A Virginia jury convicted Manafort of tax and bank fraud. He has also pled guilty to conspiracy in Washington and still has not been sentenced in either case.
Manafort’s mortgage loan was signed on August 7, 2017 prior to any arrest, but after the FBI has raided the man’s Virginia home. That raid was not made public when he signed the agreement.
According to Berglund last December, the reason Woodlawn hired Rappa was:
‘He did not have a high public profile nor any known associations with anyone who was of interest to the special counsel.’
At the time Berglund hired Rappa, the attorney claimed had no idea the actor was working on a movie deal with American financier, Andrew Intrater, who happens to be a cousin of the Russian billionaire, Viktor Vekselberg.
Intrater is CEO of Columbus Nova, which is an investment firm out of New York that managed Vekselberg’s Renova Group funds. Intrater gained public attention when he donated $250,000 to Trump’s inauguration. Mueller’s people have interviewed both men, and Mueller definitely wants to know more about the company..
Berglund said Rappa got the Woodlawn job as a “highly unfortunate favor he did for me.”
Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.