The FBI says a warrant was issued for 4th Russian linked to Trump scandal

The FBI has said the investigation into the Russian operative, and the ongoing search warrant (pictured), are unrelated. A fourth search warrant has been issued in an ongoing investigation that covers possible money laundering…

The FBI says a warrant was issued for 4th Russian linked to Trump scandal

The FBI has said the investigation into the Russian operative, and the ongoing search warrant (pictured), are unrelated.

A fourth search warrant has been issued in an ongoing investigation that covers possible money laundering and possible tax evasion involving Russian nationalist groups in the United States, and whether Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election, authorities said Tuesday night.

The warrant issued late Tuesday details an arrest of a Russian resident by U.S. federal authorities, but was not clearly described.

The individual, whom the Los Angeles Times is not naming because the case is subject to ongoing investigation, is accused of laundering money through companies he owns and through bogus bank accounts that he allegedly opened himself. Federal officials said he took millions of dollars from Russian nationalist groups in the United States and funneled it through his home country.

“There’s a big question here – because these groups were funded by a nation or countries, who are potential state sponsors of terrorism,” Yoko Sugisaki, acting assistant attorney general in charge of the Justice Department’s national security division, said at a press conference Wednesday night. “We’re trying to get to the bottom of whether there was real money laundering and whether that was beneficial to the Russian Federation.”

The search warrant, from Sept. 15, listed 10 public addresses in Southern California where Russian-language organizations used to send money to Russia, including Russian Orthodox churches in Los Angeles and Irvine. It did not elaborate on the individuals who were asked to surrender documents and financial records.

Officials said there was a federal affidavit that named several U.S. residents in connection with the investigation, but would not say whether any were being arrested or had been detained.

The FBI was accompanied by agents from the Treasury Department, the Internal Revenue Service and the California Department of Corporations, along with U.S. Marshals and homicide and robbery investigators. The FBI held up a reel of images of the suspects that agents had gathered during the course of the investigation.

The warrant, dated Sept. 15, was issued at the request of federal authorities and a judge in Los Angeles Superior Court.

In October, federal authorities obtained search warrants for six political groups that funneled money to Russia and received Russian government funding. The groups included a San Diego-based anti-Trump group, Citizens for Trump, that denied all activity was sanctioned by the Russian government.

Federal officials said Russian organizations and governments funded the groups in the U.S. through grants and political activism, as well as in exchange for whatever favors the groups did for them.

The Russian-government-linked groups in the United States had overtly anti-Semitic leanings, including some groups that allegedly harassed American Jewish organizations. Others harbored pro-Russian separatist sentiments, federal officials said.

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