Surely, this will come as a huge surprise, but the new NFT trading cards unveiled by former president Donald Trump this week to immediate ridicule also just happens to have a dubious provenance. And although the company behind the cards is still shrouded in mystery, it traces back to another third-party company known for registering shell companies.
Neither Trump himself nor the Trump Organization has anything to do with the cards. Instead, his likeness is being licensed through a company called NFT International LLC from another mysterious venture called CIC Ventures. And as New York Times reporter Ken Bensinger points out, the mailing address for CIC Ventures just so happens to be that of the Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach.
“The company that licensed Trump’s image and likeness for the $99 NFT trading cards appears to be one founded in 2021 by former Trump advisor Nick Luna and current Trump lawyer John Marion,” Bensinger tweeted on Thursday, noting the suspicious mailing address.
After doing some digging, Bensinger learned that CIC Ventures was linked to another company called Gold Ventures, which even less is known about.
Little is known about CIC, but a little digging shows that a manila folder seized from Mar-a-Lago by the FBI in August was marked “Serio Contract” and contained a contract with CIC Ventures and Gold Ventures, per a federal court filing. pic.twitter.com/mhDAooFwyd— Ken Bensinger (@kenbensinger) December 15, 2022
New York Times bestselling author Kurt Eichenwald also did some investigating via Substack, and learned that CIC Digital is a limited liability corporation formed just nine months ago and registered in Delaware. That it was formed in Delaware is especially of note, as the state offers “unique legal protections” and “any business entity filed in Delaware does not have to disclose its officers and directors to the public or the state.”
For reference, the shell company notoriously set up to funnel hush payments to Stormy Daniels was likewise established in Delaware.
But while the address to CIC is linked to Trump’s golf club, NFT International is even more shady, with its mailing address listed for a UPS Store location in Park City, Utah. However, the address for its partnership is registered some 480 miles away in Cheyenne, Wyoming, at an address with known connections to criminal operations.
In other words, those who did buy into Trump’s fishy, allegedly sold out NFTs have no idea where their money is going, or if the promises of sweepstakes prizes such as meet and greets and Mar-A-Lago visits will ever come to fruition. But as they say, a fool and his money are soon parted, which certainly seems to be the case here.