The trio of Trump Towers on Sunny Isles Beach draws its share of gawkers, thanks to Donald Trump’s licensing deal that plastered his name on the oceanfront development.
But on Thursday, the luxury high-rise complex drew the attention of law enforcement, namely the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
A squad of FBI special agents, assisted by local police, descended on Trump Tower III at 15811 Collins Ave. to carry out a search of unit 4102. It’s owned by a shell company, MIC-USA LLC, that is controlled by two Russian businessmen, Oleg Sergeyevich Patsulya and Agunda Konstantinovna Makeeva, according to state corporation records.
On Friday, a spokesman for the FBI’s Miami field office said it “was conducting court-ordered law enforcement activity in the vicinity of that location,” but provided no other information.
Patsulya and Makeeva could not be reached for comment. Patsulya’s wife, Roza Pereira, who state records show is also listed on the corporate paperwork for MIC-USA, said she was aware of the FBI’s raid.
“I can’t talk about it,” Pereira told the Miami Herald. “The lawyer [for my husband] said not to talk to anyone. … I have no idea what it’s about.”
Sunny Isles Beach has been dubbed “LIttle Moscow” by locals because it’s home to many Russian expatriates. Some expressed concerns about a backlash against their affluent beachfront community after the Russian military invaded Ukraine last year and the U.S. government started pursuing sanctions against oligarchs who hide their wealth in real estate in South Florida and other parts of the country.
Before becoming president in 2016, Trump signed a deal with the developers of the 45-story condo buildings to name the property after him to help promote sales. Foreign buyers, especially from Latin America and Russia, flocked to Trump Towers, as they did with other Trump-branded properties in Sunny Isles Beach.
Among the buyers: MIC-USA, which acquired the three-bedroom, three-bath condo residence at Trump Tower III for $1.65 million a decade ago, according to Miami-Dade property records.
In 2020, BAC Florida Bank, which provided financing for the purchase, sued Patsulya and Makeeva, claiming they defaulted on their $975,000 mortgage. The dispute was resolved later that year, though it’s not clear how from the court records. MIC-USA, controlled by the two Russians, continued to own the fourth-floor unit at Trump Tower III.