In House - The FindLaw Corporate Counsel Blog

How Is Airbnb Tied to the Manafort Scandal?

The big story this week is that Manafort, the president's former campaign manager, has been indicted through Mueller's investigation.

The money-laundering allegations against Manafort have also entangled his daughter, Jessica Manafort, and the family's Airbnb businesses. Only in Washington. And Russia. And now New York. How does Airbnb have anything to do with this?

New York Property

According to the indictment, Paul Manafort spent about $18 million in laundered money on a lavish lifestyle. With a $1.4 million wardrobe, this guy changed outfits more than a runway model.

But his daughter has a particular problem with her dad spending on New York real estate. He spent $4.5 million on a Brownstone in Brooklyn and a condo in Manhattan.

The problem is, Jessica and her husband were collecting about $30,000 a month on Airbnb rentals in the same neighborhood. They were illegally subletting the properties, according to a civil suit.

At the same time, her indicted dad was using his New York property as an Airbnb. "Manafort used the property from at least January 2015 through 2016 as an income-generating rental property, charging thousands of dollars a week on Airbnb," according to the indictment.

New York Law

Airbnb says it has nothing to do with it. However, the company is not a fan of the local law either.

New York City prohibits landlords from renting apartments for less than 30 days unless the primary resident is present. According to Bloomberg, it is a hotly debated concession to the hotel industry.

Meanwhile, the erstwhile hotelier Trump has distanced himself from his former campaign manager.

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