Bottom Line

Bottom Line
© Greg Nash

• FOREIGN AFFAIRS. Public affairs firm Mercury, which already represented the Turkey-U.S. Business Council (TAIK), has updated its contract to include the Turkish government in its representation. The deal is from May through December and has an eye-popping value of $1.2 million. The firm, according to disclosures, will be engaging in “strategic consulting and management services, including public relations and business diplomacy services related to the promotion of Turkish business/economic interests.”

“Due to overlapping priorities and interests related to the scope of work, Mercury’s engagement with TAIK will now entail coordination with the Turkish Ministry of Economy and Turkey Promotion Group,” forms say. However, only TAIK will be paying for the work.


• The government of Kazakhstan has hired Greenberg Traurig in a contract worth $2 million in an agreement from May to December. The firm is dealing with Almat Madaliyev, the director of strategic planning management within Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Justice. The contract is wide-ranging and consists largely of legal representation, including “advising and reporting to the Client in respect to all actions taken in the ongoing Civil Proceedings,” among many other matters. Specifics about the legal actions are not spelled out in the documents, but a bank in which the government of Kazakhstan has majority shares has been in legal battles with its former chairman, who allegedly embezzled upward of $4 million in assets. That man, Mukhtar Ablyazov, allegedly took the money garnered by BTA Bank and funneled it into luxury properties around the world, including the Trump SoHo in Manhattan.

• VISA ISSUES. Saro Spadaro, who is tied up in litigation with the U.S. government, hired a lobbying firm with ties to President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump nominates ambassador to Turkey Trump heads to Mar-a-Lago after signing bill to avert shutdown CNN, MSNBC to air ad turned down by Fox over Nazi imagery MORE, Sonoran Policy Group. For about a decade, the government has banned Spadaro from entering the United States. In 2016, he filed a lawsuit against the FBI, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Department of State alleging they had unjustly banned him from entering the company because they had incorrectly confused him with his father, Rosario Spadaro, who also goes by Saro. The elder Spadaro is on an FBI watch list for allegedly having ties to the Italian mafia.