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Lawsuit: Sater looked to launder cash through Trump projects

FILE - In this Sept. 14, 2005, file photo, businessman Donald Trump, left, talks on his cellphone with Felix Sater, right, outside after speaking at the Bixpo 2005 business convention at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland, Colo. Sater, a Soviet emigre who befriended Trump over a series of development deals in the 2000s and pushed the Trump Tower Moscow project before and during the 2016 presidential campaign, has emerged as a key figure in House Democrats' investigations into Trump's Russia connections. (Cyrus McCrimmon/The Denver Post via AP)

NEW YORK — A lawsuit says a Soviet-born convicted felon who worked on real estate deals with President Donald Trump plotted to use Trump-branded skyscrapers to launder money allegedly stolen from a Kazakhstan bank.

BTA Bank and the City of Almaty, Kazakhstan, allege in Monday’s lawsuit that Felix Sater conspired with the son of the city’s ex-mayor to use some of the $440 million to develop a Trump Tower in Moscow. The project was never built.

The bank also alleges Sater helped mask $3 million as down payments on condominiums in a New York City hotel bearing Trump’s name.

The lawsuit makes clear there’s no suggestion Trump engaged in impropriety. Messages were left with Sater and representatives for Trump and the Trump Organization.

Sater’s public testimony before Congress this week has been postponed.

Michael R. Sisak, The Associated Press