New York–Ivanka Trump’s now-defunct fine jewelry line has found itself linked to an alleged multimillion-dollar money laundering and fraud scheme.
According to a court document filed at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in June and obtained by GQ, who wrote a report last Friday, the Commercial Bank of Dubai sought and eventually obtained permission to subpoena Madison Avenue Diamonds–the company that operated the Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry company–claiming its diamonds were used to cover up a debt owed to it by an oil trading family.
In the court filing, the Commercial Bank of Dubai claimed the diamonds were part of a scheme to hide about $100 million it was owed by the Al-Sari family, who controlled a multibillion-dollar Emirati oil trading company before it ran into legal trouble due to unpaid bills and imposed sanctions.
The Al-Saris allegedly defaulted on their loan and then hid their assets in shell companies used to buy diamonds, including Madison Avenue Diamonds, and real estate.
(National Jeweler was not able to retrieve the court documents by press time.)
The filing doesn’t mention the Trump name directly, nor does it accuse the First Daughter of being involved directly in the scheme, but GQ noted that the timeline of the case suggests that the alleged transactions would have happened when Madison Avenue Diamonds was operating under the Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry brand name.
The request to subpoena Madison Avenue Diamonds was granted by a judge in August, but the head of the company–Moshe Lax, Ivanka Trump’s old business partner–told GQ he has yet to be served with a subpoena.
He also denied any wrongdoing, telling the website, “They might have bought a piece of fashion jewelry at our former boutique. We will fully comply in verifying and providing info the court might ask from us.”
National Jeweler contacted the Trump Organization–the international conglomerate that serves as the holding company for the family’s businesses–and Lax, but neither could be reached for comment by press time.
Trump partnered with Lax to launch her eponymous jewelry line about 10 years ago. It marked her first independent venture.
Over the years, Lax has been accused of a number of wrongdoings, many of which were put front and center in an August article by Politico. According to GQ, the Trump Organization also said Lax owed Trump money as recently as August.
The partnership between Lax and Trump ended in late 2016.