Trump tied to firm that paid FBI’s Biden informant, says report

Alexander Smirnov has been charged with making false statements against Joe Biden and son, Hunter

Kelly Rissman
Thursday 14 March 2024 18:44 GMT
Alexander Smirnov, second from right, leaves the courthouse on 20 February 2024, in Las Vegas.
Alexander Smirnov, second from right, leaves the courthouse on 20 February 2024, in Las Vegas. (AP)

An American company that allegedly paid an indicted FBI informant accused of lying about Joe Biden and his son’s business dealings has ties to former President Donald Trump, according to a report.

Economic Transformation Technologies (ETT), the company, paid Alexander Smirnov, the once-FBI informant, $600,000 in September 2020, a February court filing states, reported The Guardian.

This hefty payment was made “in exchange for a stake in an Israel-based crypto trading platform” that Mr Smirnov was trying to launch, the Wall Street Journal reported in February.

The document also notes that months prior, in June, Mr Smirnov first began telling “fabrications” to the agency. Mr Smirnov has since been charged for these lies.

ETT’s CEO is Christopher Condon, a shareholder in the London-based ETT Investment Holding Limited, which has since been dissolved, The Guardian reported,

The other two shareholders, Shahal Khan and Farooq Arjomand are connected to Mr Trump through the former president’s associates, according to the outlet.

Mr Arjomand is the former chair and current board member of Damac Properties in Dubai, to which Mr Trump has previously been tied.

The founder of Damac Properties, Hussain Sajwani, previously told Forbes in 2016: “We made a deal with Trump as an organization; they know how to run golf courses…We stay away from politics.” Mr Trump has in turn called Mr Sajwani a “very amazing man.”

In 2018, Mr Khan purchased the Plaza Hotel — which was once owned by Mr Trump.

On top of this, Mr Khan is CEO of BurTech Acquisition Group, which describes itself as a “blank check company.” A man listed as a BurTech adviser in 2021, Patrick Orlando, also served as the CEO and chair of Digital World Acquisition Corp (DWAC)— also a blank check company — at the same time.

It was during this overlapping time period that DWAC announced its plans to merge with Trump Media & Technology Group, the parent company of Truth Social.

Mr Khan also served as a board member of ETT for a year starting in June 2019, his LinkedIn page shows.

Mr Khan told The Guardian: “I was on the board for a very short period, [and] there was no connection on my part.”

The Independent has reached out to representatives for Mr Condon, Mr Khan, Mr Arjomand, Mr Sajwani, a spokesperson for the Trump campaign, and lawyers for Mr Smirnov.

A judge ruled that Smirnov, who was arrested in February twice for having “provided false derogatory information” to agents about President Biden and Hunter Biden, must remain behind bars until his trial. He has pleaded not guilty.

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