A little Butina for breakfast: funky cash flows reported by Buzzfeed show that accused Russian spy Maria Butina was up to far more than grad school and that her fake boyfriend Paul Erickson should have known fishy Russia business was afoot.
Buzzfeed’s Jason Leopold and Anthony Cormier report that South Dakota-connected Republican schemer Erickson was writing big checks from his personal and business accounts and an account in Butina’s name which Wells Fargo flagged as potential money-laundering activities. Among the question-marked money:
- $107K in cash withdrawals.
- $89K moved between Erickson’s U.S. accounts and Butina’s Alfa Bank account in Russia.
- $93K moved May–August 2017 during Butina’s graduate studies at American University in Washington, D.C. (That sum would pay for 54 graduate credits.)
- $45K to a D.C. law firm in June–July 2017. (Grad school doesn’t require legal representation.)
- $15K wired to Jack Abramoff’s son and Abramoff’s brother.
- $5.3K spent on D.C. limousine service.
Funny Erickson could have enough cash to send to Russia but not a penny to pay back the money he bilked from the Bielfeldts in Brookings. But ammosexuality and Russian subterfuge can do strange things to a man’s priorities.