Feds move to seize $7M Trump International condo

Forfeiture complaint alleges Congolese president’s daughter used dirty money to buy unit

Feds Move to Seize $7M Condo Unit in Trump International
Congo president Denis Sassou-Nguesso, Donald Trump and 1 Central Park West (Getty, Trump Hotels)

The feds are aiming to seize a condominium at Trump International Hotel & Tower, but it’s a different political leader at the center the controversy.

Federal authorities filed a forfeiture complaint on Friday, alleging the use of money misappropriated, stolen or embezzled from the Congolese treasury was responsible for the $7 million purchase of Unit 32G at 1 Central Park West, the Daily Beast reported. The feds want to repossess the property because it was acquired via illicit means, according to the complaint.

Congolese President Denis Sassou-Nguesso’s daughter owns the unit, having bought it for $7 million, or $4,000 per square foot — a substantial premium over the median per-square-foot price of other units at the time.

The purchase was made with money filtered through shell companies and intermediaries, according to the complaint. Claudia Sassou-Nguesso, the Congolese president’s daughter, was aware of the potential to be rejected by the building ahead of the purchase, only to be reassured by the officials at the building, according to the complaint.

NGO Global Witness has been calling on authorities to seize the two-bedroom unit since 2019. The unit appears to be unoccupied since purchase, though Claudia paid roughly $250,000 in common charges between 2018 and 2022, according to the complaint.

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The Trump Organization manages the property and owns many of the units, though others are owned by individuals. A spokesperson said the sale of the unit would’ve involved a third party unrelated to the company. Donald Trump and the Trump Organization haven’t been accused of wrongdoing.

There is a checkered history of controversial owners within Trump properties. Among those who have owned units at Trump buildings are Haitian dictator Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier and alleged Russian organization crime member David Bogatin.

Should authorities successfully seize the unit, their largest challenge may come afterwards. There’s a notable history of federal authorities selling seized properties for much below what their targets paid for them.

Trump’s problems extend beyond a single unit at one of his buildings, as he’s facing a massive judgment following a civil fraud ruling that endangers some of his most notable holdings. 

The former president reached a deal this week that will pause New York Attorney General Letitia James’ pursuit of Trump’s assets and bank accounts until after the appeals process plays out. 

Holden Walter-Warner

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