On October 29, 2017, Buzzfeed reported that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is focused on 13 suspicious wire transfers between 2012 and 2013 from offshore entities connected to Paul Manafort. One of the entities involved is a Lucicle Consultants Ltd., a Cypriot entity. Lucicle Consultants was previously identified by the New York Times as an entity that entered into a $10 million loan facility with Jesand LLC, a limited liability company that Manafort has used to purchase Manhattan real estate. The New York Times reported on publicly available financial disclosures filed by Lucicle Consultants Ltd. with Cyprus’ Department of Registrar of Companies in August 2016.
Lucicle Consultants was formed on December 16, 2008. Over the course of the next eight years, only one document (notification of change of officers) was filed with the Department of Registrar of Companies in Cyprus. Annual financial reports were not originally filed by Lucicle Consultants, however, on August 10, 2016, just four days before the New York Times published the Black Ledger story (and nine days before Manafort resigned from the Trump campaign), full audited annual financial statements were filed by Lucicle Consultant for fiscal year ended December 31, 2013. The financial statements describe transactions that occurred in 2012 and 2013 (the same period as the wire transfers the Buzzfeed report points to). Additional Manafort-connected entities filed similar paperwork in August 2016, including Black Sea View Limited and LOAV Advisors Limited.
As has been widely reported, throughout 2016, Manafort engaged in a series of mortgage loan transactions with Trump-connected entities and individuals. The BuzzFeed report, combined with the timing of the Cyprus filings and borrowing from Trump-connected entities, raises the question as to whether these events reflect efforts to create additional documentation for transactions that had occurred previously in the 2012-2013 time period.