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In this March 16, 2016 photo,Trump Tower is shown in New York. The Trump Organization claims in marketing materials that the building is 68 stories tall. But outside groups and city records list Trump Tower at 58 stories. Experts say developers often inflate the floor count of their buildings for marketing purposes.(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Turns out there was a wiretapping scandal at Trump Tower but it involved the Russian mafia


Turns out, there was a wiretapping scandal at Trump Tower, but it didn't involve the 44th commander-in-chief, President Obama, or the 2016 presidential election. 

For two years ending in 2013, the FBI had a court-approved warrant to gain intelligence about a sophisticated crime money laundering network working out of 63A in Trump Tower, ABC News reported.

The FBI investigation led to a federal grand jury indictment of more than 30 people, including "Little Taiwanese" Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov, a notorious Russian mafia boss, and the sole target to slip through the cracks. He remains a fugitive from American justice.

Five months after the April 2013, indictment as well as after the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) issued a "red notice" for "Little Taiwanese," the mafia boss appeared near now President Trump in the VIP section of the Moscow Miss Universe pageant. At that point, Trump sold the Russian rights for Miss Universe to a Russian shopping mall developer.

“He is a major player,” said Mike Gaeta, the FBI agent who led the 2013 FBI investigation of Tokhtakhounov and his alleged mafia money laundering and gambling ring, in a 2014 interview with ABC News. “He is prominent, he has extremely good connections in the business world as well as the criminal world, overseas, in Russia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, other countries.”

Gaeta added that Tokhtakhounov's Russian ring was suspected of funneling more than $50 million of illegal money to the U.S.

Though Trump was never implicated in the investigation, his Trump Tower was under close surveillance since some of the Russian mafia figures had worked just three floors below Trump's penthouse.

The building also housed Vadim Trincher, one of the ring's top men who pleaded guilty to racketeering and was sentenced to five-years imprisonment.

Former FBI agent Rich Frankel, said of Trincher, “He would have people come in and meet with them. He would use the phones. He would also communicate, wither it was through e-mail or other communications through there. His base of operations was in the Trump Tower."

The Trump Organization declined to response to requests for comment about the 2013 raid.

Turns out there was a wiretapping scandal at Trump Tower but it involved the Russian mafia

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