The Real Deal New York

WATCH: Michael Cohen’s real estate friends, and their ties to Trump

Rotem Rosen and Jerry Rotonda have done business with president’s company
April 19, 2018 05:48PM


On Friday, as the U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan revealed new details of a months-long criminal investigation into Michael Cohen, President Trump’s attorney hung out with some friends on a Manhattan sidewalk. But they weren’t just any friends.

Among the group smoking cigars were real estate executive Rotem Rosen and Jerry Rotonda, former CFO of Deutsche Bank’s private wealth management business in the Americas.

The Real Deal’s senior reporter Konrad Putzier appeared on CNN’s Out Front with Erin Burnett to talk about the two men and their ties to the president. Rosen first made a name for himself as head of Africa Israel USA, diamond billionaire Lev Leviev’s U.S. real estate venture. “Lev Leviev has had close relationships with important people in Moscow in the Soviet leadership, later in the Russian leadership, for many, many years,” Putzier said.

TRD recently broke down Leviev’s story in an investigation into the ties between the global diamond trade and New York’s real estate industry.

Rosen eventually joined the Sapir Organization, developers of Trump Soho, and joined the future president on his infamous trip to the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow in 2013. Last year, he launched his own real estate firm, MRR Development, with Rotonda and Indian billionaire Anand Mahindra.

The Deutsche Bank division Rotonda worked at happens to be a major lender to the Trump Organization in recent years, lending $170 million to fund the conversion of an old Washington, D.C., post office into a hotel and $125 million loan against a golf resort in Miami.

“He basically was a key figure in the institution that’s been bankrolling a bunch of Trump deals in recent years, including the hotel in Washington, D.C.,” Putzier said, referring to the “So here we have a person at the center of this whole thing, sitting outside with Michael Cohen and Rotem Rosen,” Putzier said. [CNN]