The FBI did spy on Donald Trump’s flagship high-rise in New York while looking for Russians, but the operation took place four years ago and not during the 2016 presidential campaign, according to a report by ABC News.
Federal agents spied on what they described as an “international money laundering, sports gambling and extortion ring” that operated out of unit 63A in Trump Tower between 2011 and 2013, ABC News reported Tuesday. The surveillance resulted in more than 30 indictments in April 2013.
The apartment used by the suspects was just three floors below Trump’s own penthouse residence, but the FBI investigation did not implicate or involve the real-estate tycoon who would go on to become the 45th US president, according to ABC.
Rather, the investigation focused on Trump Tower resident Vadim Trincher, who eventually pleaded guilty to racketeering charges and is due to be released from prison in July.
The ultimate target of the FBI operation was Alimzhan Tursunovich Tokhtakhounov, also known as “Taiwanchik,” suspected of bringing into the US more than $50 million in profits from illegal gambling. The money came from Russia, Ukraine and other countries, and was laundered through shell companies and banks based in Cyprus, Mike Gaeta, the lead agent in the FBI probe, told ABC in 2014.