The FBI has launched an investigation into the business dealings of a Ukrainian-born woman who reportedly posed as a member of the Rothschild family, the famous Jewish international banking dynasty, and who appeared to have gained access to Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate and to the former US president himself under false pretenses.
An investigative piece published Friday by the Organized Crime & Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) together with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette detailed how 33-year-old Inna Yashchyshyn, a Russian-speaking immigrant to the US born in Ukraine, presented herself as banking heiress “Anna de Rothschild” and inflitrated Trump’s Florida resort, mingling with guests at the private members’ club, posing for photos with Trump, US Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and others at Mar-a-Lago functions.
The estate is currently at the center of an FBI investigation into Trump’s unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents, some of them top secret, at the property.
According to the joint report, Yashchyshyn is the daughter of an Illinois truck driver and it is unclear when she arrived in the US. Reporters of the publications posted photos of fake US and Canadian passports in the name of Anna de Rothschild bearing Yashchyshyn’s photograph, though she has denied involvement.
The FBI office in Miami and the Sûreté du Québec provincial police in Canada have launched investigations into Yashchyshyn’s dealings, specifically in relation to a charity called United Hearts of Mercy, first founded in Montreal, Canada by Moscow businessman Valery Tarasenko in 2010 with a branch in Miami in 2015. The charity claimed it helps lift children “from spiritual, social, economic, and physical poverty” in various parts of the world, the report said.
Yashchyshyn and Tarasenko are engaged in a complex, bitter legal dispute and have filed domestic violence injunctions in Florida against each other. Yashchyshyn claimed she and Tarasenko were in a relationship and that he coerced her into a scheme to wrangle funds from various mean, accusations Tarasenko denies.
— Igor Sushko (@igorsushko) August 26, 2022
This dispute appears to have revealed details about Yashchyshyn’s access to Mar-a-Lago in May 2021 for unclear reasons, according to the report.
An affidavit filed in Miami by Tarasenko in February, and cited in the report, said Yashchyshyn used “her fake identity as Anna de Rothschild to gain access to and build relationships with U.S. politicians[s], including but not limited to Donald Trump, Lindsey Graham, and Eric Greitens,” in reference to the former Missouri governor.
The report said Yashchyshyn played an imposter Rothschild convincingly, according to guests who met her at the estate.
“It wasn’t just dropping the family name. She talked about vineyards and family estates and growing up in Monaco,” John LeFevre, a former investment banker and author who was at Mar-a-Lago in May 2021, told the publications.
She arrived around May 1 last year at the invitation of a connection she met through the charity, the report said. The next day, she was invited to a fundraiser at the Trump International Golf Club, near Mar-a-Lago, where she posed for pictures with Trump, Graham, and others. Later that day, she reportedly fraternized with a number of Trump associates, including Kimberly Guilfoyle, the girlfriend of Donald Trump, Jr, and dined with them.
A photo obtained by the publications showed a group of people posing for the image at a restaurant including Yashchyshyn, standing behind a seated Guilfoyle.
The incident raises questions about access to Mar-a-Lago, which is both Trump’s residence and a private members club.
Charles Marino, a security consultant who once served on the Secret Service details of Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, told the publications that the possible breach “highlights the complexities of having a former president living within a larger club.”
“The question is was it a fraud or an intelligence threat? The fact that we are asking this question is a problem,” added Marino
The FBI launched an unprecedented raid of Trump’s palatial Florida home earlier this month under the authority of the Justice Department, which is investigating potential violations of multiple laws, including an Espionage Act statute that governs gathering, transmitting or losing national defense information. The other laws deal with the mutilation and removal of records as well as the destruction, alteration or falsification of records in federal investigations.
On Friday, the FBI released an affidavit indicating that the raid was triggered by a review of 15 boxes of records previously surrendered by the former president that contained top secret information — including about human intelligence sources.
According to the affidavit, the FBI opened the investigation after the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) received 15 boxes of records in January 2022 that had been improperly removed from the White House and taken to Mar-a-Lago. It said sensitive National Defense Information was among the records recovered including 67 documents marked as confidential, 92 as secret and 25 as top secret