Oops. A little over two years after Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya talked her way into a meeting at Trump Tower with Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner, the woman has now been charged in a Manhattan Federal Court with obstruction of justice.
Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya, who was at the center of a controversial 2016 Trump Tower meeting, was charged in federal court on Tuesday with obstruction of justice in connection to a civil money laundering and forfeiture case involving a Russian tax refund fraud scheme, first uncovered by the late Sergei Magnitsky.
Veselnitskaya represented Cyprus-based real estate holdings company Prevezon Holdings, in a money laundering lawsuit brought by the Justice Department in 2013. In the case, the government sought to prove that Veselnitskaya’s clients had received and laundered a portion of the proceeds of a Russian tax refund fraud scheme involving corrupt Russian officials.
Federal prosecutors in New York’s Southern District said on Tuesday that Veselnitskaya submitted to the court an “intentionally misleading declaration in opposition to a government motion.”
The motion, according to SDNY, presented “supposed investigative findings by the Russian government—findings purportedly exonerating Veselnitskaya’s clients – under the false pretense that these findings had been independently drafted by the Russian government.”
“As alleged, however, Veselnitskaya concealed from the Court that she, as a member of the defense team in the Prevezon action, had participated in drafting those supposed exculpatory investigative findings in secret cooperation with a senior Russian prosecutor,” federal prosecutors said Tuesday.
“Fabricating evidence – submitting false and deceptive declarations to a federal judge – in an attempt to affect the outcome of pending litigation not only undermines the integrity of the judicial process, but it threatens the ability of our courts and our Government to ensure that justice is done,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said in a statement.
Uh-oh. Natalia tried to pull one over on federal prosecutors and got caught. She is now a wanted fugitive in the United States for intentionally misleading U.S. investigators.