THE FBI is probing startling claims that an alleged Ukrainian master con-woman posed as a member of a rich European banking dynasty to gain repeated access to the Mar-a-Lago estate of former President Donald Trump.
According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Organised Crime Corruption and Reporting Project (OCCRP), fake heiress ‘Anna de Rothschild’ interacted with former President Trump, Senator Lindsay Graham, and former Governor of Missouri Eric Greitens.
Her real name, however, is the somewhat less glamorous Inna Yaschchynshyn, and she is the Russian-speaking daughter of a truck driver from Illinois. It is unclear when she came to the US.
Federal records obtained by the Post-Gazette and the OCCRP showed she had two fake passports from the US and Canada in her name listed as “Anna de Rothschild.” A Florida driver’s licence under the alias and bearing her picture, listed a US$13 million Miami Beach mansion where she never lived.
Yaschchynshyn made several trips to the ex-president’s Florida estate with her fake identity to make connections with some of the most senior members of the Republican party. Mar-a-Lago has been the subject of a recent FBI raid in which 25 secret documents were recovered, which were marked top secret.
The Post-Gazette claimed she formerly worked in a suburban Miami-based business connecting pregnant Russian women to Americans looking to adopt a child; however, the web of lies unfolded amid a legal dispute she had with her former associate.
According to Valeriy (CORRECT) Tarasenko, a 44-year-old businessman raised in Moscow, Yaschchynshyn made multiple trips to Mar-a-Lago in an effort to make contacts and create new streams of business.
Photos from 2021 show the brunette hanging out with “Trump, Graham and other.
“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, told OCCRP.
Yaschchynshyn used “her fake identity as Anna de Rothschild to gain access to and build relationships with US politician[s], including but not limited to Donald Trump, Lindsey Graham, and [former Missouri Gov.] Eric Greitens,” Tarasenko said, according to an affidavit obtained by the Post-Gazette.
Yashchyshyn denied under oath that she had ever used another name and had not broken any laws.
She spoke to the paper and said she had never heard of Anna de Rothschild, claiming Tarasenko had created the fake IDs to blacken her name.
“Over time, Tarasenko became more controlling and aggressive over me,” she said in an affidavit to a court in Miami.
Mr Tarashenko reportedly met with FBI agents twice and told them about her visits to Mar-a-Lago and her interactions with the ex-President and a number of other senior politicians.
Ms Yashchyshyn is also under investigation for alleged financial fraud, related to a Miami charity called United Hearts of Mercy, which used the same name as a charity in Canada founded by Mr Tarashenko.
She acted as president of the charity, but one of the group’s payment processors, Stripe Inc, suspected fraud and refused to take their money.
The charity stated it aimed to help families struggling during the pandemic.
The group’s accountant, Tatiana Verzilina, told the paper that near the end of their campaign she began receiving threatening phone calls from individuals “with accents” saying they would kill her and her family if she didn’t free up funds for their use.