Felix Henry Sater (born Felix Mikhailovich Sheferovsky; March 2, 1966) is an American real estate developer and former managing director of Bayrock Group LLC, a real estate conglomerate based out of New York City, New York. Sater has been an advisor to many corporations, including The Trump Organization, Rixos Hotels and Resorts, Sembol Construction, Potok (formerly the Mirax Group), and TxOil.
In 1998, Sater pleaded guilty to his involvement in a $40 million stock fraud scheme orchestrated by the Russian Mafia, and became an informant for the Federal Bureau of Investigation and federal prosecutors, assisting with organized crime investigations. In 2017, Sater agreed to cooperate with investigators into international
Criminal convictions and federal cooperation
Felix Sater has been described as a career criminal due to his links to organized crime. In 1991, Sater got into an argument with a commodities broker at the El Rio Grande restaurant and bar in Midtown Manhattan. He stabbed the man's cheek and neck with the stem of a margarita glass, breaking his jaw, lacerating his face, and severing nerves, creating a wound that would require 110 stitches to treat. Sater was convicted of first degree assault and spent 15 months in Edgecombe Correctional Facility before being paroled. In 1998, Sater was convicted of fraud in connection to a $40 million penny stock pump and dump scheme conducted by the Russian Mafia involving his company White Rock Partners. In return for a guilty plea, Sater agreed to assist the FBI and federal prosecutors as an informant in organized crime. In 2009, he was sentenced to pay a $25,000 fine and served no prison time. As a result of his assistance, Sater's court records were sealed for 10 years by Loretta Lynch, then the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. Lynch's decision to seal his records was discussed at her 2015 Congressional confirmation hearings to become attorney general; she stated that Sater provided "information crucial to national security and the conviction of over 20 individuals, including those responsible for committing massive financial fraud and members of La Cosa Nostra."
Articles about Russia's potential interference with the 2016 election of Donald Trump report that Felix Sater played a role in trying to assist Russia. According to the New York Times and other sources, Felix Sater wrote and sent to his Russian contact(s) (probably Dmitry Peskov, Putin's personal assistant) an email stating, "I will get Putin on this program and we will get Donald elected" and "If he says it we own this election." In July 2017, The Financial Times, citing five sources with knowledge of the matter, reported that Sater had agreed to cooperate with investigators looking into an international money laundering scheme involving Viktor Khrapunov, a former government minister in Kazakhstan. Khrapunov, who now lives in Switzerland, has been accused by the Kazakhstani government of embezzling millions of dollars and is wanted by Interpol.