Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Russian-Speaking Immigrant Allegedly Entered Mar-A-Lago Using Fake Identity, Met With Trump, Report Says

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Topline
The FBI has launched an investigation into a Russian-speaking Ukrainian immigrant named Inna Yashchyshyn, who allegedly posed as a member of the Rothschild banking family to gain access to former President Donald Trump’s inner circle at Mar-a-Lago, according to reporting from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project.

This is an aerial view of President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate on August 10, 2022, in Palm … [+] Beach, Florida. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

Key Facts

Yashchyshyn, 33, reportedly entered Mar-a-Lago on multiple occasions last year using a fake ID claiming she was Anna de Rothschild, a non-existent descendant of the European Rothschild banking dynasty.

It’s not clear how many times she visited the resort, but she reportedly became well-acquainted with many of Trump’s close associates, including Donald Trump Jr.’s fiancee, Kimberly Guilfoyle, and Caroline Wren, a former Trump campaign advisor who helped organize the January 6 Stop the Steal rally.

Yashchyshyn was photographed with the former president and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on the golf course at Trump International Golf Club on May 2, 2021, during a high-dollar fundraiser for the midterm elections, but it’s unclear if she had any other direct interactions with the former president.

Yashchyshyn allegedly dazzled those around her with made up stories about growing up as a Rothschild in Monaco and told of plans to build a speed track in Miami, which she also used to gain access to celebrities and power brokers outside of Mar-a-Lago, such as meeting rapper Ray J and auto magnate Horacio Pagani at the 2019 Austrian World Summit.

Mar-a-Lago members reportedly became aware of Yashchyshyn’s true identity in March, when a Florida music promoter told them he learned the Rothschild persona was a fake while working with Yashchyshyn’s company, Rothschild Media Label.

Yashchyshyn denied any wrongdoing, telling reporters she has never claimed to be a Rothschild and is the “victim” of a scheme involving a Russian-born former business partner.

The FBI investigation appears focused on whether Yashchyshyn was part of a broader criminal network that attempted to make inroads with politicians and businessmen, according to the report–investigators have reportedly obtained two fake “Anna de Rothschild” passports as part of the probe.

Trump spokeswoman Margo Martin and the FBI’s press office did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Forbes.

What We Don’t Know
It’s unknown if there were any political or financial motives behind Yashchyshyn’s reported visits to Mar-a-Lago, though she has a history of being involved with apparent scams. She formerly served as president of a Miami-based charity called United Hearts of Mercy before its payment processor blocked donations over fraud concerns, according to the report.

Key Background
Security troubles involving Mar-a-Lago have been at the center of national political and legal attention over the past few weeks after an FBI raid on the property uncovered a trove of documents, including top secret material, that Trump appeared to improperly take with him after leaving the White House. The Justice Department has since unsealed the search warrant and a redacted version of the affidavit it used to argue probable cause to carry out the raid, which cited a criminal investigation into “improper removal and storage of classified information in unauthorized spaces, as well as the unlawful concealment or removal of government records.” An attachment to the search warrant revealed authorities are investigating potential violations of the Espionage Act as part of the probe. Trump slammed the raid, stating the documents were secure and claiming he would have turned them over to the government if the DOJ had simply asked for them.

Tangent
A Chinese business consultant was arrested in 2019 and later sentenced to eight months in prison for trespassing at Mar-a-Lago. Prosecutors said she possessed “malicious software” at the time of her arrest. She was deported to China after completing her sentence.

Further Reading
Inventing Anna (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

DOJ Releases Redacted Mar-A-Lago Search Affidavit — Here’s What It Says (Forbes)

Search Warrant Unsealed In FBI’s Trump Mar-A-Lago Raid (Forbes)

Mar-A-Lago Raid: FBI Investigating Whether Trump Violated These 3 Statutes (Forbes)

FBI Agents Search Mar-A-Lago In ‘Unannounced Raid,’ Trump Says (Forbes)

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