Ex-Manafort Associate Firtash Is Top-Tier Comrade of Russian Mobsters: DOJ - NBC New York
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Ex-Manafort Associate Firtash Is Top-Tier Comrade of Russian Mobsters: DOJ

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    Ex-Manafort Associate Firtash Is Top-Tier Comrade of Russian Mobsters: DOJ
    Ronald Zak/AP (File)
    Ukrainian oligarch Dymitro Firtash waits for the start of his trial at the courts of justice in Vienna, Austria, Feb. 21, 2017. Firtash was arrested in Vienna in March 2014 on an American warrant charging him with bribery and other offenses.

    The Department of Justice has identified a former business associate of ex-Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort as an "upper-echelon [associate] of Russian organized crime."

    As NBC News reports, the declaration came in a 115-page filing as part of the government's case against Dmytro Firtash, a Ukrainian oligarch once involved in a failed multimillion-dollar deal to buy New York's Drake Hotel with Manafort, and an important player in the Ukrainian political party for which Manafort worked.

    In 2008, according to court records, Manafort's firm was involved with Firtash in a plan to redevelop the Drake Hotel for $850 million. Firtash's company planned to invest more than $100 million, the records say.

    One of the other partners working with Manafort on the deal was the former exclusive broker for Fred Trump's properties, Brad Zackson. Fred Trump is the late father of Donald Trump.