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Fact Check: Ex-partner of Ukrainian ‘heiress’ who infiltrated Mar-a-Lago club shot outside Canada resort

By Steve Heldon

Photograph: Cristóbal Herrera/EPA

An associate of the Ukrainian woman who posed as a member of the Rothschild banking family at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club was reportedly shot outside a lakeside resort north-west of Montreal, Canadian newspaper LaPresse has reported.

The shooting left Valeriy Tarasenko, 44, with “significant injuries”, but he was expected to survive, said the Sûreté du Québec, the Quebec provincial police. The police said it had launched a search for the shooter and any accomplices behind the attack.

Related: 80s hits and nuclear secrets: security concerns plague Trump’s Mar-a-Lago

Tarasenko is known as a former business partner of Inna Yashchyshyn, a Russian-speaking Ukrainian immigrant who was identified by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project over the summer for posing as “Anna de Rothschild” at Mar-a-Lago.

Quebec police told LaPresse that they were trying to “shed some light on the circumstances that led to the injuries of the victim”. But for now, “to protect the investigation, no other detail can be shared”, the police added.

Tarasenko, who was born in Ukraine and raised in Moscow, told the Post-Gazette and OCCRP that he had hired Yashchyshyn in 2014 to live in his Miami condo and watch his two daughters while he traveled on business.

The FBI, according to the report, has been looking into a Miami charity, United Hearts of Mercy, Yashchyshyn launched in 2015 and carries the same name as a nonprofit founded by Tarasenko in Canada in 2010.

According to a statement by the charity’s accountant that was turned over to the FBI, the charity, established to collect money for impoverished children, was in fact a front for organized crime.

The report said more than $200,000 in United Hearts of Mercy funds came from stolen credit card numbers and bank accounts in Hong Kong and Australia. The charity’s accountant, Tatiana Verzilina, said she’d been threatened if she didn’t turn over the money.

Yashchyshyn is not only being investigated by the FBI but also by the Quebec police’s major crimes unit, the report added. Tarasenko told the Post-Gazette that Yashchyshyn went to Mar-a-Lago to seek out new sources of money from Trump’s entourage, where she mingled with the former president and Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

Yashchyshyn has said she did not break any laws and never used any other identities. She claimed Tarasenko and his family had created fake IDs with her image. “It’s all lies because they are criminals,” she said. But nor is it clear that Anna de Rothschild exists and if she does, is truly a member of the banking dynasty.

In an interview with the New York Post last month, Yashchyshyn, 33, said she’d been the victim of smear campaign by a former lover – Tarasenko – who branded her a spy for Russian president Vladimir Putin.

In an affidavit filed in a Miami-Dade county court in February, Tarasenko described Yashchyshyn as “an active member of an international criminal organization” who’d created false identities using the surnames of dynastic, brand-name European and Canadian families, including Rothschild, Kruger and Cavalli.

But Yashchyshyn rejected that claim to the outlet. “What boils my blood most is people even thinking I’m Russian or a Russian agent,” she said in a phone interview with the outlet. “Russian people don’t exist to me since they invaded my country and killed my family and took homes.”

Source: Healthy Duck.