Marc Lasry, a Manhattan mega-bundler and contributor to President Obama — and before that to Bill Clinton — dropped out of the running, Reuters reported on Tuesday.
Lasry had never been nominated for the job, though the prospect had been rumored for months, including in this column back in January. Former president Bill Clinton said at a fundraiser last month that Lasry was the pick for the post.
But the New York Post, citing unidentified “sources,” reported Friday that the withdrawal was the result of his possible ties to an “alleged Russian mob-run poker ring that was laundering money through a Carlyle hotel art gallery.”
Federal agents last week accused a number of Russians of running part of a large betting and money laundering racket, the Post reported. Lasry plays high-stakes poker, and his name surfaced on FBI tapes, the paper said.
“It’s not that he’s committed a crime,” a source told the Post, “but it opens a can of worms” in terms of getting the nomination confirmed.
“Marc plays poker,” a source familiar with the situation told us. And ”everyone in those high stakes games,” including some well-known Hollywood types, “was just as surprised as he was that the organizers had violated the law.. Lasry “has not been contacted by anyone” investigating the matter, we were told.
In any event, check how much you bundled and contributed to Obama in 2012. If the total is about seven figures, the spectacular residence a short walk from the Champs Elysee beckons.