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(Politico)   In 2008, a Ukrainian company went on a spree, buying up dozens of dead or dying factories and industrial sites across the Midwest. The phrase "Ukrainian company" was your clue this was less about economic revitalization and more "money laundering"   (politico.com) divider line
    More: Obvious, Money laundering, Ponzi scheme, United States, Charles Ponzi, Factory, Anti-money laundering, Offshore bank, American Midwest  
•       •       •

3790 clicks; posted to Main » on 18 Oct 2021 at 1:35 PM (6 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2021-10-18 1:25:07 PM  
How much PPP loan money did those companies take?
 
2021-10-18 1:39:02 PM  
Damnit Hunter! I told you to wipe that off your laptop!
 
2021-10-18 1:40:19 PM  
I wouldn't be surprised if they overpaid quite handsomely claiming the purchase included millions of dollars in new equipment.
 
2021-10-18 1:40:40 PM  

fragMasterFlash: How much PPP loan money did those companies take?


Probably none, you need people on the payroll to qualify for the PPP programs. Sounds like these people were using real estate to launder the money, not actually running a company.

I still don't quite get how they launder money by buying an old factory, letting it sit for a decade, and then selling it for less money. Maybe they have so much to launder they're willing to lose a percentage to make it legitimate?
 
2021-10-18 1:41:09 PM  
I know those guys bought up a ton of urban Cleveland real estate - namely office towers that had remained empty for over 20 years.

Why? Because nobody else was looking to buy those places either. Any time America wants to step up and buy these empty buildings in the Rust Belt, I'm all ears, but it seems to be that we'd rather sell them off to Ukrainians then let them collapse under their own disuse.

I guess we should be evaluating why ya'll moved away from the industrial midwest and less on why people are buying up these places nobody wants.

Half of Detroit and Half of Toledo and Half of Cleveland are for sale right now to the highest bidder. Guess who is willing to pay?
 
2021-10-18 1:41:31 PM  

eKonk: Damnit Hunter! I told you to wipe that off your laptop!


But enough about the semen stains...
 
Juc
2021-10-18 1:41:50 PM  
but they still made perogies right? RIGHT?!
 
2021-10-18 1:42:07 PM  
I worked for Motorola in 1999-2000.  It was all about Harvard, or what was affectionately called Cowtown.  People were accepting positions out there and buying houses.  I left before the bottom fell out.
 
2021-10-18 1:43:06 PM  

137 Is An Excellent Time: I know those guys bought up a ton of urban Cleveland real estate - namely office towers that had remained empty for over 20 years.

Why? Because nobody else was looking to buy those places either. Any time America wants to step up and buy these empty buildings in the Rust Belt, I'm all ears, but it seems to be that we'd rather sell them off to Ukrainians then let them collapse under their own disuse.

I guess we should be evaluating why ya'll moved away from the industrial midwest and less on why people are buying up these places nobody wants.

Half of Detroit and Half of Toledo and Half of Cleveland are for sale right now to the highest bidder. Guess who is willing to pay?


https://www.clevescene.com/scene-and-​h​eard/archives/2019/06/11/how-ukrainian​-oligarchs-secretly-became-the-largest​-real-estate-owners-in-downtown-clevel​and
 
2021-10-18 1:46:57 PM  
Red states always have their hands out, they don't much care where the cash comes from.
 
2021-10-18 1:47:42 PM  

Lsherm: fragMasterFlash: How much PPP loan money did those companies take?

Probably none, you need people on the payroll to qualify for the PPP programs. Sounds like these people were using real estate to launder the money, not actually running a company.

I still don't quite get how they launder money by buying an old factory, letting it sit for a decade, and then selling it for less money. Maybe they have so much to launder they're willing to lose a percentage to make it legitimate?


They always lose a percentage to the launderer. Maybe having actual assets makes it look like a real company or something. Or they can mortgage them a few times and get some money that way.
 
2021-10-18 1:49:28 PM  
This is why most of Vancouver is a ghetto. "The Vancouver model" of money laundering. Real estate, hyper cars, and casinos used to legitimize black/gray market money. Many blame Chinese Nationals, but all the big mafias do it, not just the triads. Lots of Russian, Vietnamese, and Indian/Pakistani gangs launder money here. They buy real estate and let it sit and rot because it's value will still go up, any property taxes over the value increase are like the cost of laundering the money.
 
2021-10-18 1:49:29 PM  
Always be wary of eastern Europeans with large bank accounts.
 
2021-10-18 1:57:32 PM  

Lsherm: fragMasterFlash: How much PPP loan money did those companies take?

Probably none, you need people on the payroll to qualify for the PPP programs. Sounds like these people were using real estate to launder the money, not actually running a company.

I still don't quite get how they launder money by buying an old factory, letting it sit for a decade, and then selling it for less money. Maybe they have so much to launder they're willing to lose a percentage to make it legitimate?


As far as I know, a loss percentage is inherent to all/most forms of money laundering.

Think of the small-time scammer who prefers to be paid in gift cards.  They're not going to get 100% of the gift card cash value at the end, but they can use the gift card to buy something they can then sell for cash.  With a gift card they can receive the money more or less anonymously.
 
2021-10-18 1:59:38 PM  
Most likely to be pardoned today by Pope Donald the Turd:

William Gates, III
Ukrainian Oligarchs aka "The Investors"
Steve Bannon ?
Jeff Gannon*
Child Moleste du jour*

*Just to fill out the list, but far from impossible

/ Are people still making pilgrimages to this puffed-wheat-coloured prick?
 
2021-10-18 2:01:02 PM  
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2021-10-18 2:01:59 PM  
Lethal Weapon 2 - Leo teaches money laundering
Youtube f-J6EpRoZ6o


Leo can explain it
 
2021-10-18 2:11:52 PM  

137 Is An Excellent Time: I know those guys bought up a ton of urban Cleveland real estate - namely office towers that had remained empty for over 20 years.

Why? Because nobody else was looking to buy those places either. Any time America wants to step up and buy these empty buildings in the Rust Belt, I'm all ears, but it seems to be that we'd rather sell them off to Ukrainians then let them collapse under their own disuse.

I guess we should be evaluating why ya'll moved away from the industrial midwest and less on why people are buying up these places nobody wants.

Half of Detroit and Half of Toledo and Half of Cleveland are for sale right now to the highest bidder. Guess who is willing to pay?


Or, ya know, improve regulations and oversight so this shiat doesn't continue to happen while ALSO finding ways to incentivize investment in these disused buildings.  Something a bit more nuanced than "LET COLLAPSE OR SELL TO CROOKS!"

The story of Harvard suggests that lax U.S. laws around shell companies and real-estate purchases, in addition to a broader lack of regulatory oversight, may be putting America's heartland in the crosshairs of elites like Kolomoisky.
 
2021-10-18 2:13:38 PM  
Are they really Ukrainian or are they memetic Soviets?
 
2021-10-18 2:14:29 PM  
But Bitcoin is still legit, right?
 
2021-10-18 2:16:33 PM  

ArkPanda: Lsherm: fragMasterFlash: How much PPP loan money did those companies take?

Probably none, you need people on the payroll to qualify for the PPP programs. Sounds like these people were using real estate to launder the money, not actually running a company.

I still don't quite get how they launder money by buying an old factory, letting it sit for a decade, and then selling it for less money. Maybe they have so much to launder they're willing to lose a percentage to make it legitimate?

They always lose a percentage to the launderer. Maybe having actual assets makes it look like a real company or something. Or they can mortgage them a few times and get some money that way.


The laundromat isn't free.
 
2021-10-18 2:16:55 PM  

guestguy: Or, ya know, improve regulations and oversight so this shiat doesn't continue to happen


From a link in the article: Apparently we wrote "money laundering checking rules" into real estate transactions as part of the PATRIOT Act back in 2001 but realtors were then given a "temporary" exemption that is still in effect. So we've written the regulations, we just don't have any oversight. Should be an easy fix.
 
2021-10-18 2:19:38 PM  

Lsherm: guestguy: Or, ya know, improve regulations and oversight so this shiat doesn't continue to happen

From a link in the article: Apparently we wrote "money laundering checking rules" into real estate transactions as part of the PATRIOT Act back in 2001 but realtors were then given a "temporary" exemption that is still in effect. So we've written the regulations, we just don't have any oversight. Should be an easy fix.


Oh, for fark sake...

media3.giphy.comView Full Size
 
2021-10-18 2:24:15 PM  
The drug cartels have used Miami and South Florida real estate this way for decades. Buy it. Hold it a while. Shift it to another LLC. Sell it later. By the time it's all done, you have nice, clean funds.
 
2021-10-18 2:24:59 PM  
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2021-10-18 2:32:05 PM  

Lsherm: fragMasterFlash: How much PPP loan money did those companies take?

Probably none, you need people on the payroll to qualify for the PPP programs. Sounds like these people were using real estate to launder the money, not actually running a company.

I still don't quite get how they launder money by buying an old factory, letting it sit for a decade, and then selling it for less money. Maybe they have so much to launder they're willing to lose a percentage to make it legitimate?


that is exactly how it normally works.

you have X in illegally gotten gains.
you transfer 100% of X into a purchase, do your best in book keeping to hide or just hope no one asks where the original funds came from.
Later when you sell it for legit reportable income, the assumption will be that sale price of Y < X.
but no you didn't 'lose" anything, you gained Y.
Where X was of lass value to you than it's actual cash amount, because use of that much unreported income cash would draw attention.
So less cash Y still > in use value than more cash X.

The other version of this is where you run a legit business. like say a tanning salon.
And then you do have  pay out of your ill gotten gains, all the costs of running that business for real.
And then post the ill gotten gains as revenue to the business from fake customers.

in the end you start with X but wind up with Y where Y < X in sum total, but Y > X in particle use value.
 
2021-10-18 2:45:12 PM  

guestguy: Or, ya know, improve regulations and oversight so this shiat doesn't continue to happen while ALSO finding ways to incentivize investment in these disused buildings.  Something a bit more nuanced than "LET COLLAPSE OR SELL TO CROOKS!"


Nobody wants them. Costs too much to do anything with them and they have no market value in cities where all the workers left. Hell, in Cleveland, they are converting most of these old office tower into luxury rentals. I'm not sure who is paying $4000/month for a two-bedroom apartment without operable windows in a converted office tower from the 1950s in urban Cleveland, but here we are.

This is the crux of the issue: the appraised value of these properties after remodeling is LESS than the cost to remodel.Who wants to put money anywhere and then have less of it after they're done.

Imagine you spending $30,000 to renovate your home and it being worth LESS after you're finished with the remodels to both the lending institution and any prospective buyers.

When your population reduced by literally 75% in five decades, this is what happens.
 
2021-10-18 2:47:16 PM  

HotWingConspiracy: Red states always have their hands out, they don't much care where the cash comes from.


"One of these small towns appears to have been Harvard, Ill."

Wow, Illinois went red?

I keep thinking you can't get any dumber and damn if you don't keep proving me wrong.
 
2021-10-18 2:52:53 PM  
Bastards! How could we let Ukrainians do such a thing! Those tactics should be accomplished by good ole red blooded Americans!
 
2021-10-18 2:57:19 PM  

137 Is An Excellent Time: guestguy: Or, ya know, improve regulations and oversight so this shiat doesn't continue to happen while ALSO finding ways to incentivize investment in these disused buildings.  Something a bit more nuanced than "LET COLLAPSE OR SELL TO CROOKS!"

Nobody wants them. Costs too much to do anything with them and they have no market value in cities where all the workers left. Hell, in Cleveland, they are converting most of these old office tower into luxury rentals. I'm not sure who is paying $4000/month for a two-bedroom apartment without operable windows in a converted office tower from the 1950s in urban Cleveland, but here we are.

This is the crux of the issue: the appraised value of these properties after remodeling is LESS than the cost to remodel.Who wants to put money anywhere and then have less of it after they're done.

Imagine you spending $30,000 to renovate your home and it being worth LESS after you're finished with the remodels to both the lending institution and any prospective buyers.

When your population reduced by literally 75% in five decades, this is what happens.


Hence the term "incentivize"...there wouldn't need to be any incentives if the effort would be profitable on its face.  Not saying it's a simple thing to fix, but it's better than throwing up your hands and saying "fark it, let's just sell to corrupt foreigners".
 
2021-10-18 3:01:03 PM  
For two decades, American real-estate professionals have benefited from a "temporary" exemption to anti-money laundering laws, allowing them to avoid performing due diligence on the customer making the purchase.

WTF?

And from the link in TFA:

Unfortunately, unlike the United Kingdom and all 27 European member states, no U.S. state requires company owners to disclose their identity, so these anonymous shell companies can operate like any other business.

Good lord. Our laws are straight up designed to benefit money launderers. This has to be by design. We've let crooked lobbyists write the farking laws.
 
2021-10-18 3:01:26 PM  
I finally got my head wrapped around money laundering from watching Ozark.  Now I think I see it everywhere.  And, probably do.
 
2021-10-18 3:06:59 PM  

Rapmaster2000: I worked for Motorola in 1999-2000.  It was all about Harvard, or what was affectionately called Cowtown.  People were accepting positions out there and buying houses.  I left before the bottom fell out.


I left Libertyville in 96, you could see the handwriting on the wall
 
2021-10-18 3:08:11 PM  

Kinan: Rapmaster2000: I worked for Motorola in 1999-2000.  It was all about Harvard, or what was affectionately called Cowtown.  People were accepting positions out there and buying houses.  I left before the bottom fell out.

I left Libertyville in 96, you could see the handwriting on the wall


Was it "DREW RULEZ!"?
 
2021-10-18 3:09:50 PM  

Lsherm: fragMasterFlash: How much PPP loan money did those companies take?

Probably none, you need people on the payroll to qualify for the PPP programs. Sounds like these people were using real estate to launder the money, not actually running a company.

I still don't quite get how they launder money by buying an old factory, letting it sit for a decade, and then selling it for less money. Maybe they have so much to launder they're willing to lose a percentage to make it legitimate?


Ozark version of this laundering process:
Money Laundering 101 (Ozark - S01E04)
Youtube KXTaksJxO90
 
2021-10-18 3:19:12 PM  
Though some ethics watchdogs have criticized Hunter's decision to work for Burisma in light of who his father is, there's no evidence of wrongdoing or illegal activity on his part or the former vice president's.
 
2021-10-18 3:20:04 PM  

guestguy: Hence the term "incentivize"...there wouldn't need to be any incentives if the effort would be profitable on its face.  Not saying it's a simple thing to fix, but it's better than throwing up your hands and saying "fark it, let's just sell to corrupt foreigners".


Where are these incentives coming from? The tax payer? The schools? I know many cities in Ohio have turned to TIF which basically is a grant from the schools. 

The tax payer in most of these areas are as broke as anyone else - if you haven't noticed, there aren't a lot of billionaires making Ohio home. Well, maybe Les Wexner, but that Oil Well is one cough away from going dry and I doubt he's going to let the tax payers of Toledo or Cleveland fleece him when he basically owns his own suburb of Columbus.
 
2021-10-18 3:26:42 PM  

guestguy: Hence the term "incentivize"...there wouldn't need to be any incentives if the effort would be profitable on its face.  Not saying it's a simple thing to fix, but it's better than throwing up your hands and saying "fark it, let's just sell to corrupt foreigners".


Here is the best answer the industrial midwest has come up with when the cost to maintain exceeds the value of the property:

Genesee Towers implosion raw video
Youtube j1YNOF9LxqE


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7F6y​a​fDC5g
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZU7T​D​wEE78

I mean, it's really the best answer. But, selling to Ukrainians sounds better to the current owners than #yolo-ing their holdings into rubble. I don't think people understand how many blighted properties there are in the MidWest. Hell, Detroit turned something like a 1/4 million houses into rubble over the last 20 years because people just left - didn't even try to sell - they just left.

thevintagenews.comView Full Size
 
MFK
2021-10-18 3:27:30 PM  
I should be shocked to see a baby BernieBro troll account leaping to the defense of corrupt Russian oligarchs and the money they make illegally laudering money while keeping US factories out of the hands of US industry, but frankly, it's just par for the course at this point.
 
2021-10-18 3:29:09 PM  

137 Is An Excellent Time: guestguy: Hence the term "incentivize"...there wouldn't need to be any incentives if the effort would be profitable on its face.  Not saying it's a simple thing to fix, but it's better than throwing up your hands and saying "fark it, let's just sell to corrupt foreigners".

Where are these incentives coming from? The tax payer? The schools? I know many cities in Ohio have turned to TIF which basically is a grant from the schools. 

The tax payer in most of these areas are as broke as anyone else - if you haven't noticed, there aren't a lot of billionaires making Ohio home. Well, maybe Les Wexner, but that Oil Well is one cough away from going dry and I doubt he's going to let the tax payers of Toledo or Cleveland fleece him when he basically owns his own suburb of Columbus.


¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I'm not a politician...but I'd say there's likely to be plenty of room for reasonable government action between "do nothing" and "do everything".
 
2021-10-18 3:33:10 PM  

PvtStash: Lsherm: fragMasterFlash: How much PPP loan money did those companies take?

Probably none, you need people on the payroll to qualify for the PPP programs. Sounds like these people were using real estate to launder the money, not actually running a company.

I still don't quite get how they launder money by buying an old factory, letting it sit for a decade, and then selling it for less money. Maybe they have so much to launder they're willing to lose a percentage to make it legitimate?

that is exactly how it normally works.

you have X in illegally gotten gains.
you transfer 100% of X into a purchase, do your best in book keeping to hide or just hope no one asks where the original funds came from.
Later when you sell it for legit reportable income, the assumption will be that sale price of Y < X.
but no you didn't 'lose" anything, you gained Y.
Where X was of lass value to you than it's actual cash amount, because use of that much unreported income cash would draw attention.
So less cash Y still > in use value than more cash X.

The other version of this is where you run a legit business. like say a tanning salon.
And then you do have  pay out of your ill gotten gains, all the costs of running that business for real.
And then post the ill gotten gains as revenue to the business from fake customers.

in the end you start with X but wind up with Y where Y < X in sum total, but Y > X in particle use value.


I hate X-Y- Z
Y the most
 
2021-10-18 3:35:12 PM  
I thought the Ukrainians were the new Poland and Russia was the new Nazi Germany?   Explain to me again why it would be bad if Putin pounded this lot into submission?
 
2021-10-18 3:35:28 PM  
All bound for miracle land today
All bound for miracle land today
Western men untie my hands
Lead me through the shifting sands
All bound for miracle land today
 
2021-10-18 3:46:59 PM  
If I'm not mistaken, didn't one Donald J. Trump sell a Florida property to a Russian oligarch for about twice the reported value of the property?  Just don't ask questions and maintain deniability.
 
2021-10-18 3:49:36 PM  
Buying up foreign real estate as a way to launder money is something that's gotten worse and worse over the last 30 years, and I have yet to hear of a good way to stop it.
 
2021-10-18 3:54:38 PM  

137 Is An Excellent Time: guestguy: Or, ya know, improve regulations and oversight so this shiat doesn't continue to happen while ALSO finding ways to incentivize investment in these disused buildings.  Something a bit more nuanced than "LET COLLAPSE OR SELL TO CROOKS!"

Nobody wants them. Costs too much to do anything with them and they have no market value in cities where all the workers left. Hell, in Cleveland, they are converting most of these old office tower into luxury rentals. I'm not sure who is paying $4000/month for a two-bedroom apartment without operable windows in a converted office tower from the 1950s in urban Cleveland, but here we are.

This is the crux of the issue: the appraised value of these properties after remodeling is LESS than the cost to remodel.Who wants to put money anywhere and then have less of it after they're done.

Imagine you spending $30,000 to renovate your home and it being worth LESS after you're finished with the remodels to both the lending institution and any prospective buyers.

When your population reduced by literally 75% in five decades, this is what happens.


Yep. When the multinationals and the ultrawealthy who own/control them move jobs out of the US, so they can pay sweatshop wages, there's no industry left, so no jobs.
 
2021-10-18 3:54:51 PM  
Where did they find the wall at to adorn these properties?

If only they had a familiar connection in the art market........
 
2021-10-18 3:55:45 PM  

Rapmaster2000: I worked for Motorola in 1999-2000.  It was all about Harvard, or what was affectionately called Cowtown.  People were accepting positions out there and buying houses.  I left before the bottom fell out.


Yeah, I remember that. I was working for USRobotics/3Com/MSI or whatever the hell it was called then. I was offered an obscene amount of money by Motorola to take a position at that plant. I turned down the position because it was way to far to drive back and forth to Chicago everyday, there weren't very many rentals, the ones available were ridiculously expensive and I wasn't going to buy a house out there and be stuck with it. However, I did know a lot of people who did take positions and either relocated out there or did the commute. The ones that bought houses were really pissed when they were laid off
 
2021-10-18 4:02:13 PM  

Kinan: Rapmaster2000: I worked for Motorola in 1999-2000.  It was all about Harvard, or what was affectionately called Cowtown.  People were accepting positions out there and buying houses.  I left before the bottom fell out.

I left Libertyville in 96, you could see the handwriting on the wall


Libertyville.  I've never seen the police show up so fast. They just swarmed a field.  Then they hung around eating donuts for like 20 minutes.  They looked ANGRY.  I have no idea what was going on.  What a weird group.  Maybe they were supposed to film Cop Rock and the crew never showed.
 
2021-10-18 4:05:12 PM  

Lsherm: fragMasterFlash: How much PPP loan money did those companies take?

Probably none, you need people on the payroll to qualify for the PPP programs. Sounds like these people were using real estate to launder the money, not actually running a company.

I still don't quite get how they launder money by buying an old factory, letting it sit for a decade, and then selling it for less money. Maybe they have so much to launder they're willing to lose a percentage to make it legitimate?


The point is to get as much as possible out of their country into the U.S. They know only a percentage of it will get through the process, but 40% of $3 billion in the U.S. gets you a pretty good weekend in Vegas.

Then, sell the assets for cash, make actual investments with the "clean" money, then take low interest loans against your investments to avoid income taxes. Hire someone to keep your tiny giraffe's cage clean.
 
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