WASHINGTON – Donald Trump tapped a man to be a senior business adviser to his real-estate empire even after the man’s past involvement in a major mafia-linked stock fraud scheme became public.
Felix Sater pleaded guilty to one count of racketeering in 1998. His conviction remained secret for nearly a decade as he worked as a government informant and an executive at the Bayrock Group, a real estate firm that partnered with Trump.
After Sater’s criminal history came to light in 2007, Trump distanced himself from him. But Trump gave Sater an office inside the Trump Organization and the title of senior adviser in 2010.
A Trump attorney said Sater’s stay lasted for only six months, and that Trump had not known of Sater’s criminal past during Sater’s time at Bayrock.