Russian tied to 2016 Trump Tower meeting indicted in separate US case

Lawyer Natalya Veselnitskaya during an interview

According to prosecutors, the Justice Department asked the Russian government to assist its investigation, which it refused to do.

The meeting had been setup after Rob Goldstone, a British publicist for the pop-star son of a Russian oligarch, had emailed Mr Trump Jr offering "information that would incriminate Hillary".

The lawyer first made headlines in the USA when it emerged she had met with senior Trump campaign aides, including Mr Trump's son Donald Trump Jnr, in 2016 to purportedly exchange information about Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton.

Angel M. Melendez, the Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations, said she's "now a wanted person in the United States".

On Tuesday, Veselnitskaya's name appeared in an unsealed indictment for USA v. Prevezon Holdings.

The criminal case relates to real estate firm Prevezon Holdings Ltd. and its role in an alleged $230 million tax-fraud scheme that federal officials say was "perpetrated by a criminal organization that included in its ranks corrupt Russian officials".

Ms Veselnitskaya "participated in drafting those supposed exculpatory investigative findings in secret cooperation with a senior Russian prosecutor", the US Attorney's office in Manhattan said in a statement. The case was settled in 2017, with Prevezon paying a $5.9 million fine without admitting any wrongdoing.

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Veselnitskaya helped represent Prevezon in the case, in which the company was alleged to have laundered $14 million in proceeds of the Moscow tax refund scam through NY real estate.

Veselnitskaya is based in Moscow at the law firm Camerton Consulting.

The indictment does not say where the evidence of email exchanges between Veselnitskaya and the unnamed Russian prosecutor came from. Magnitsky was then arrested and died in prison under suspicious circumstances. Browder launched a campaign to have those allegedly involved in his death blacklisted by the U.S. Since then, Browder has lobbied Western governments to pass the Magnitsky Act, which places visa restrictions and asset freezes on people believed to be involved in Magnitsky's death or other human rights abuses.

The case stems from legal work Veselnitskaya was doing for Prevezon Holdings.

Both Fusion and Veselnitskaya were working for Prevezon in the NY case.

Trump Jr. has acknowledged that he met with Veselnitskaya because he had been told she could offer damaging information about Democrat Hillary Clinton from the Russian government. Proponents of the conspiracy theory that Trump "colluded" with Russian Federation to somehow steal the presidency from Hillary Clinton have long claimed this meeting at Trump Tower is key evidence against the current United States president. Akhmetshin, a former Russian military officer and Washington lobbyist, later accompanied Veselnitskaya to the Trump Tower meeting.

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