Paul Erickson indictment: Fraud, money laundering, and Maria Butina

Paul Erickson indictment
Hey, let’s exploit the elderly and investors with a Ponzi scheme!

Paul Erickson and Maria Butina, two crazy kids in love with, with dicey bank accounts sending money every which way. That’s just adorable. But he’s twice her age, balding and dumpy-looking. Why would semi-hottie Maria be attracted to him? Hmm.

Oh right, it’s all about the money, and money laundering, and fraud. And the NRA, Russia, and Putin.

Paul Erickson was indicted this week in federal court in South Dakota on one count of fraud and ten counts of money laundering. The indictment details two decades of Ponzi schemes with multiple corporations.

Money laundering

And lookee here. Payments to American University, where Butina was a student, and personal payments to “M.B.”

Paul Erickson indictment. Payment to American University
Paul Erickson indictment. Payments to "M.B."

The bank accounts

Erickson and Butina were busy, busy, busy.

Here Is The Money Trail From The Russian “Agent” And Her Republican Partner

Federal investigators say some of the money went to Maria Butina’s campaign to help Russia infiltrate American politics.

Wells Fargo officials expressed suspicion about the “significant control” Erickson had over Butina’s account. He had access, Wells Fargo found, to her personal checking account, which she opened in 2014. He frequently made payments on her behalf; the recipients have not been identified. He sometimes appeared to write checks that Butina signed.

Erickson appears to be one of those slithering weasels that Donald Trump is so fond of, “very good people” indeed.

In 1994, Erickson obtained a $30,000 contract with Jack Abramoff to lobby for entrance into the United States by Mobutu Sese Seko, the military dictator of the Democratic Republic of the Congo who had been banned from the entering the United States due to the corrupt and dictatorial nature of his regime. Mobutu sought a visit to the United Nations to claim credit for this offer, but his visa request was ultimately denied due to his past human rights abuses.

During Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016, Erickson attempted to develop a back-channel between the NRA and the Russian government. In May 2016, Erickson sent an e-mail with the subject line “Kremlin Connection” to Trump campaign adviser Rick Dearborn asking Dearborn and then-Senator Jeff Sessions for advice on setting up a meeting between Trump and Russian president Vladimir Putin at an annual NRA convention. After Trump won the presidential election in November 2016, Erickson said he was advising his transition team.