an excerpt from “Gangster Planet”
The “deep state” is supposed to be sinister, according to Donald Trump. But its hard to look sinister in sunny Palm Beach Florida.
Before the first ballot had been cast in 2016 Donald Trump was worrying out loud that ‘they’— the deep state—were going to steal the election.
Sinister. But it can’t be seen, except by those who can see it.
“It’s invisible to some but familiar to the Poles,” the President explained while visiting Poland. “The steady creep of government bureaucracy that drains the vitality and wealth of the people.”
Sinister. Invisible. Vampire-like.
“They want a scalp. Please believe me when I tell you the deep state is going to get one,” opined one right wing pundit.
And in cahoots with “the Left” and the media.
Deep dish on the deep state
The deep state: government bureaucrats and FBI agents—Hillary’s satanic cabal—sitting around after hours thinking of ways to sabotage Donald Trump.
Picture someone from the Illuminati calling roll at a candle-lit ceremony in the forest.
Or… in a Pizza Hut? Yeah, that’s it! Deep state meet-and-greets over slices of pizza with that extra-crispy dead baby crust.
These are the memes that won the West. But what if they’re not true?
Strong evidence exists suggesting Donald Trump is himself a member of the ‘secret elite’ running the ‘deep state’ he’s been criticizing for years. And you can see it on display in one place, at one address, in one town…
Palm Beach is never far from the news.
Deep state one-stop shopping
I never thought the skill might transfer when examining a series of owners of the same property. But the mansion Trump sold in Palm Beach exposes a network of…something. I’ll let you be the judge of what.
On June 26, 2008, long before Russian oligarchs in business with American organized crime became a thing, I reported my suspicions about Donald Trump’s sale of a Palm Beach mansion.
Even before that I’d done a story, on May 21, 2008, about Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, headlined “CIA Drug Pilot Linked to Russian Mob.”
When Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev came onto my radar, Russiagate was still eight years in the future. Immodestly, I was almost a decade ahead of the curve.
How I got the jump: For more than fifteen years I’ve been following an American industry that’s a rare bright spot in the U.S. balance of payments deficit.
The illicit drug trade—cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine— outperforms every other industry in the U.S. year after year.
Tracking Oleg the Oligarch
I was following rumors that the Russians were making a serious play for supremacy in the drug trade. I learned from interviews with a former FBI agent that they had already taken over in Miami, the preferred port of entry into North America’s drug markets.
My immediate interest—more on why later—was Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. I had learned that he and Dmitry Rybolovlev were natural criminal associates.
Oleg had gained a stranglehold on Russia’s world-leading aluminum industry, while Dmitry had cornered the fertilizer industry. The two men’s common denominator is potash. Eight years later, Deripaska was revealed to have been paying Paul Manafort $18 million a year.
Evidence in my new book “Gangster Planet” will show that ‘Oleg the Oligarch’ is the chief Russian protagonist—the Oliver North—in the Russiagate scandal.
Donald Trump’s first Russian Palm Beach ‘homie’
Donald Trump sold a tacky mansion at 515 N. County Road in Palm Beach, oceanfront property, a wide spot on the beach, to a Russian ‘businessman’ the New York Times euphemistically called a “fertilizer magnate.”
Initial reporting was not all it could have been.
Bringing a gangster with blood on his hands into their midst would have miffed the doyennes of Palm Beach society….had they known.
But they didn’t know. The New York Times called him a “fertilizer magnate.”
This is a key incident in the Russiagate scandal, and it remains very much a part of the Mueller investigation.
Dmitry Rybolovlev was—and no doubt still is, because how do you get out? —a successful Russian mobster-turned-oligarch.
Now further investigation reveals that people at the address itself over the years fit the definition of ‘a secret elite running the deep state.’
Including Donald Trump.
Remember the Great Recession?
However the story of Abe Gosman — one of Donald Trump’s Palm Beach ‘homies’ and the last owner of 515 N County Road before Trump — shows that being part of the deep state isn’t always as glamorous as it sounds.
Trump picked up Gosman’s mansion in a bankruptcy auction in 2004. In a story on the sale a business reporter in Boston who knew him described Gosman as “nursing home magnate and vulgarian-at-large Abe Gosman.”
The property proved troublesome to sell. A frustrated Trump churned through real estate brokers and then slashed the price. Nothing worked. It sat on the market for almost two years.
By early 2006 the real estate market was already cooling off. Even without a looming recession, it wasn’t clear there was a buyer willing to pay Trump twice what he paid for what was— even with a pasted-on update—an aging behind the times neoclassical palace.
That’s when Trump found a buyer: Russian ‘oligarch’ Dmitry Rybolovlev. Trump’s bizarrely profitable flip of a mansion in Palm Beach —he reportedly made more than $50 million on the deal—raised eyebrows. It seemingly made no economic sense.
Cleaning dirty laundry
What the evidence shows, I believe, is that the ‘deep state’ is clearly visible at 515 N County Road in Palm Beach.
Apparently I’m in good company. Glen Simpson—of Steele dossier fame—thought so too.
“I mean this guy was spending money like a drunken sailor on all kinds of things, and people were ripping him off in art deals. So that was my original take on this. Also, when we first heard about it, it didn’t fit with my timeline of when Trump seemed to have gotten deeply involved with the Russians.”
But Simpson later shifted his views when he realized, according to the testimony, that the transaction fit within the “first trimester of the Trump-Russia relationship, in that it actually fit in pretty well with some of the early things that had happened.”
The history of 515 N County Road
The first house built at 515 N County Road was built in 1916 by Robert Dun, a member of the Dun & Bradstreet family.
In 1930, he sold it to a utilities tycoon then known as “the richest man in America” named Harrison Williams. Being richest man, however, wasn’t enough. Because his wife was more famous than he was.
Mona (later Countess von Bismarck) was one of the most fashionable women of her time (1930s – 1970s).
A decade after her tycoon hubby utilities’ were cut off, Mona sold the property and moved overseas to a villa on the island of Capri, that had once belonged to Roman Emperors Augustus and Tiberius. (It had presumably been refurbished since.)
Blue-bloods and swells
The star wattage was dialed up even higher by the next owner, a Texas oilman named Charles B. Wrightsman.
Wrightsman was a Texas oilman and an insider. His own father—also a successful oilman— is credited (if that’s the word) with authoring the oil depletion allowance in the 1920’s.
Charles Wrightman’s fascinating career has been covered, in work borrowed here, by respected historians and researchers Texas native Linda Minor and author Bruce Adamson, both deeply-knowledgeable about the arcane history of the old boy Texas oil network, as well as it’s surprising connections to the Kennedy assassination.
C.B. Wrightman attended Exeter (class of 1914) Stanford, and Columbia University in New York, where he developed a passion for flying and became a pilot in 1917 as America began revving up to enter WWI.
He flew in the “First Yale Unit” of the Aerial Coast Patrol, an early civilian response in WWI. The group was composed of blue-bloods and swells like William A. Rockefeller, Samuel Sloan, and even a member of the family of St Louis tycoon Bert Walker, who was George Bush 41’s grandfather.
In cold weather—airplanes had open cockpits in those days— the unit trained in Palm Beach on property—he was building a new flying boat there—owned by the son of the founder of Philadelphia’s Wanamaker’s Department store, who went on to fund the building of one of the first airplanes to cross the Atlantic.
Texas big money in Palm Beach
He was a contemporary of Howard Hughes and belonged to the same Texas big money crowd, some of whom—like CIA Director Allen Dulles, and Kennedy assassination bete noire George de Mohrenschildt— have links to the JFK assassination.
He was friend with President Lyndon Johnson, who stayed at Wrightsman’s estate when he visited Palm Beach. So too did the Shah of Iran. Fashion designer Igor Cassini recalled playing tennis at the Wrightsman estate with the Shah of Iran and CIA Director Allen Dulles.
Wrightsman also became famous for owning one of the most fabulous private art collections in the world. After he and his wife donated one particularly famous painting to the Metropolitan Museum in New York, he was approached by a reporter for an interview, and demurred.
“Mrs. Wrightsman and I lead a very quiet life and we try to avoid publicity” he explained. “I had a father who told me, ‘I never saw a deaf and dumb man in jail.’”
Three years later Wexner sold his still only half-finished mansion to Abe Gosman, who was described by a business reporter who knew him well as “nursing home magnate and vulgarian-at-large Abe Gosman.”
Palmy times in Palm Beach
But the early 1990s were palmy days for Abe Gosman and his Lin.
Abe was a certified high roller. He bought Santa Anita racetrack in Southern California, and lavished the beautiful blonde Lin with gifts including a Mercedes, priceless art, and $3 million in cash.
At a Pearl Harbor Day Remembrance luncheon he gave at what was now called Maison d’Amite, he hosted top navy brass like Admiral Booda and Vice Admiral Richard C. Allen.
And when Prince Albert of Monaco threw a cocktail party in Monte Carlo to celebrate the induction of a new Commodore at the Commodore Club, the party took place on Abe Gosman’s yacht.
“Italians, Jews, coloreds…we got them all!”
When the Kennedy’s Palm Beach compound was undergoing renovation, Abe’s “fabulous oceanfront estate” hosted Ethel Kennedy.
And at a dinner he threw himself in Boston to honor what the Boston Globe tongue-in-cheek called “his vast accomplishments in the healthcare field,” he was flanked by famous pols who sat on his board like Republican Sen. Edward Brooke, and New York’s Democratic Governor Hugh Carey.
In his after-dinner speech, Abe praised the ethnic diversity of his board. “Italians, Jews, coloreds, we got em all.”
“His offhand remarks caused throats to clear and evening wear to rustle,” sniffed the Boston Globe. In the end it was put down to naivete, because no pol would think of returning one of Abe’s generous checks.
Abe was becoming quite a philanthropist.
Was getting married aboard the ‘Octopussy’ a faux pas?
Six years later they got engaged. Abe slipped a 20-carat million-dollar diamond on Lin’s finger, and they tied the knot aboard ‘Octopussy,’ his 143-foot yacht.
In hindsight, he might have suspected that exchanging marriage vows aboard a yacht named ‘Octopussy’ would come back to haunt him.
Later the Palm Beach Post reported that ‘All was not rosy,’ and explained about the “tearful pre-nup that had preceded their marriage.”
No Joy in Mudville
Although several years earlier he was once worth a reputed $470 million—providing a hint of where all that Medicare money goes—Gosman filed for personal bankruptcy in 2001.
Gosman went belly up when Federal auditors began probing his Massachusetts nursing homes as part of a national anti-fraud campaign called—with unintended irony— “Operation Restore Trust.”
Counting on Florida’s homestead law, which typically protect homes in bankruptcy filings, Gosman parked his assets in his wife’s name, until a federal bankruptcy judge dropped a bombshell.
He ruled that Abe wasn’t legally married. At the time of ‘Abe and Lin’s’ big “theme” wedding aboard his 132-foot mega-yacht, the Octopussy, the judge said his new wife wasn’t yet legally divorced.
Abe Gosman lost his “marital shield,” and watched $40 million go up in smoke.
Hidden assets are supposed to stay hidden
Testimony revealed that Lin was clearly upset when Abe didn’t offer her an ownership interest in the house. It got worse when Abe insisted on a pre-nup. A tearful Lin signed it nine days before their marriage.
The bankruptcy court found Gosman had tried to shield assets by shifting them to Lin, and she was ordered to pay $66 million to the bankruptcy trustees.
Lin Gosman committed fraud and perjury that went beyond secreting jewelry in the back of the closet and forgetting to list it. Her mercantile instincts were sharp, testimony indicated, and she had “persistently pestered Abe to fund the marital trust he’d agreed to.”
The bankruptcy trustee’s lawyer told the judge she couldn’t be trusted to produce assets and documents.” He said recovering Lin’s hidden assets hadn’t been easy. “It’s been like climbing Mount Everest.’
He accused her of lying under oath and concealing assets worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. “She doesn’t play by the rules,” he told the judge. “She’s just not credible.’
She often appeared irritated, crossing her arms and shaking her head defiantly at the trustee’s questions. During the bankruptcy trial the judge admonished her, then fined her, then held her in contempt of court.
Three felonies & lots of tears
Her trial on half a dozen felony counts two years later was, if anything, worse. When it was over, she’d been convicted of one count of tax fraud, one count of bankruptcy fraud, and one count of mortgage fraud.
She admitted concealing assets in a Swiss bank account she controlled under the name Charm Enterprises Ltd.
She admitted hiding furniture, artwork, and jewelry in a storage locker.
While waiting to be sentenced, she sat weeping on a bench in the lobby, reported the Palm Beach Post. “I am a decent human being. I think the community is horrified at what is happening here.” Still, there was sympathy for her in the community.
The Palm Beach Post asked, “Was Lin Gosman the victim of an abusive and overzealous trustee in her husband’s bankruptcy?’ When there was a sentencing delay, the paper decried it as a “Stressful Setback for Former Socialite.”
Researching a children’s book at Harrod’s
“One storage unit was literally filled to the brim with artwork she said she did not have, tapestries she said she didn’t have, and jewelry she said she didn’t own.”
“Her actions were done clearly to hinder delay and defraud creditors. They were “secretive, deliberate, dishonest, and criminal.”
Lin Gosman showed a fine contempt for the law. While out on bail she could travel “while allegedly conducting research for a children’s book.”
U.S. Atty Bell ticked off Lin Gosman’s post-indictment foreign jaunts. She’d been to Paris, Hong Kong, Morocco and Dubai, shopping up a storm on money about to be confiscated because of husband Abe’s bankruptcy.
“She was spending money reserved for her husband’s creditors,” Asst. U.S. Atty Carolyn Bell pointed out.
“This is at the top of the heap,” Carolyn Bell told the judge. “This is the type of bankruptcy fraud where you just go, ‘oh my god.’ This conduct, if we don’t address it, the bankruptcy system doesn’t work.”
Today Carolyn Bell, whose instincts were unerring, is a judge in Palm Beach.
“Vindictive people punishing wealthy people”
But, just like Paul Manafort, Lin Gosman got a ‘happy ending.’
The judge admonished the government’s vigorous prosecution of the case. “The U.S. Attorney’s office is hailing this case like it’s the crime of the century. Lin Gosman was a pillar of society,” he said.
“You make this sound like a fraud case!”
Which is technically was. But let the judge continue.
“My decision to spare Lin Gosman more jail time on a series of fraud charges probably will not be popular with vindictive people who want to see wealthy people punished.”
U.S. District Judge Kenneth Ryskamp didn’t sentence her to 30 years in prison—which he could have—but to house arrest. Followed quickly by probation.
Lin Gosman was beside herself. About the Judge, she gushed, “I can’t believe how wise and kind he is, and I appreciate the support. Why couldn’t I have found someone like him (the judge) from the beginning?”
Slings & arrows…and Bargain Bob
During bankruptcy proceeding, Abe was the target of insults from creditors. One swore he was going to make sure that Abe ended up “in a one-bedroom condo in West Palm driving a used Volvo.”
The million-dollar condo they moved into placed a lien on his apartment for failure to pay maintenance fees. When Abe didn’t pay a $600 installation fee to “Bargain Bob’s New & Used Carpets” Bargain Bob slapped him with a construction lien.
For Palm Beach, it was pretty gruesome stuff.
What did Dmitry Rybolovlev, Abe Gosman and Donald Trump have in common? By any definition of the word, they’re “connected.”
However that’s not always a guarantee of smooth sailing. Abe Gosman was the odd man out. He was the Palm Beach ‘homie’ who met a bad end.
I coined an aphorism almost twenty years ago and still use it often:
“Being connected means never having to say you’re sorry.”
The minions of transnational organized crime today, Russian and American alike, all share this characteristic.
By the way— in case you were wondering—what Trump’s flip of that Palm Beach mansion to a Russian gangster means is this: All our worst fears about Donald Trump have already come true.
How it happened is the story of ‘Gangster Planet. ‘