Connected lawyer involved in Trump Tower meeting charged with obstruction of justice

Lawyer Natalya Veselnitskaya during an interview

While the Prevezon case has been closely watched, Veselnitskaya became a nationally known figure after the revelation in July 2017 the Trump's family and campaign chairman attended the meeting with her and other Russian figures as the general election was heating.

Veselnitskaya is not in the USA and it's unlikely that she'll ever see court or be taken into custody unless she leaves Russian Federation. While this case doesn't seem directly related to the Trump Tower gathering, it does establish her connections with Russian government officials and other individuals who've been sanctioned under the Magnitsky Act.

Special counsel Robert Mueller is looking into whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russian Federation and whether the president obstructed the investigation.

Today special counsel spokesman Peter Carr declined to say if Mueller's team was involved in the Veselnitskaya case or if the office had referred the matter to prosecutors in NY. The special counsel's office declined to comment on whether it contributed to the Veselnitskaya investigation or referred it to the US Attorney's office.

"Under the terms of the settlement, the defendants have agreed to pay not just what we alleged flowed to them from the Russian treasury fraud, but three times that amount, and roughly 10 times the money we alleged could be traced directly into USA accounts and real estate", then acting USA attorney Joon Kim said in a statement at the time the settlement was made.

Numerous additions and edits from Veselnitskaya made it into the final document, while she didn't disclose to the court that she was an author, the indictment adds.

"The determined efforts of HSI New York's El Dorado Task Force and the U.S. Attorney's Office reflect how seriously we take the rule of law in the United States", Melendez said.

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The attorney, Natalia Veselnitskaya, was representing defendants accused of laundering Russian money from an alleged tax fraud scheme through USA -based real estate purchases. In the lawsuits, members of a criminal organization posed as both plaintiffs and defendants in the cases, admitting wrongdoing so they could win large money judgments which could then be declared as losses in order to collect large Russian tax refunds, USA authorities concluded.

Veselnitskaya was retained to assist the defendants.

Prosecutors accuse Veselnitskaya of lying about her cooperation with a "senior Russian prosecutor" in drafting "supposed investigative findings" for an asset forfeiture case in NY federal court.

Katzyv eventually settled the case by paying $6 million without an admission of guilt. A federal judge ordered the firm last February to pay US$6 million to the United States government.

The indictment goes on to allege that Prevezon repeated Veselnitskaya's claims in their own court filings in the case.

U.S. media report that the lawyer is thought to now be in Russian Federation. Magnitsky ultimately ended up dead in a Russian prison - and his name is associated with the Magnitsky Act, which allows for imposition of sanctions on human rights violators in Russia.

Don't overlook Manafort's notes from the Trump Tower meeting.

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