A little-known company located in Switzerland has come under scrutiny by the Special Counsel’s Office for its connection to Psy Group, the firm that created a social-media manipulation plan to help Donald Trump win the 2016 election. That’s according to three sources with knowledge of the office’s questioning, and documents obtained by The Daily Beast.
Former employees of Psy Group said the FBI interviewed them in 2017 and asked detailed questions about the firm’s business and ownership structure. These same sources told The Daily Beast that while working at Psy, which is now defunct, they operated under the understanding that Joel Zamel, an Australian with links to Israeli intelligence, ultimately owned the firm. But the financial structure of Psy Group was much more complicated, they said, and included offshore entities registered in the British Virgin Islands.
At the end of that chain of opaque offshore entities sits a Zurich-based financial-services group known as Salix Services AG, according to interviews with former Psy Group employees and two other individuals with insight into the firm’s ownership. And financial documents appear to show a relationship between Salix, named after the Latin word for a willow tree, and at least one of the companies that owned Psy Group.
Robert Mueller’s team has eyed Salix as part of his wide-ranging probe into foreign meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Details about Psy Group’s financials and its ties to Salix could shed new light on a pair of mysteries that could be key to this part of the special counsel’s probe: Why did international business and influence-peddler George Nader pay Zamel $2 million after the election? And where did all that money go? [Continue reading…]