In another bizarre development, investigative journalists from Kveik arrived a few days after the November 2020 US election at the (falsely) claimed Virginian estate of none other than Michele Ballarin, or Michele Roosevelt Edwards. They obtained a rare video interview with the Republican politician and businesswoman She is best known for purchasing assets of the bankrupted WOW Air, claims of negotiating with Somali pirates, and for promoting an electoral fraud conspiracy theory called Italygate.
US media incredulates Ballarin
Michele Ballarin’s name began reaching the headlines of American media in her attempt to promote conspiracy surrounding the US election in November 2020. The theory became known as Italygate. Essentially, Ballarin and her colleagues developed the idea that Italian hackers worked alongside CIA representatives in Rome. They then hacked the constituencies of several key states, transferring the election data from the US to computer servers in Frankfurt. The data was sent back to Italy where hackers manipulated the data in favor of Joe Biden and finally uploading the data to the key constituencies via military satellite.
You deserve all the praise if you made it through that absolute whirlwind of a scheme. Fortunately, US media outlets are also in disbelief of the idea, pairing nicely with the other outlandish claims that she has made in the past. According to data from the US Department of Justice, the management did not further investigate the theory; it was one of the strangest that they’d heard, despite requests from the Trump administration’s Chief of Staff at the time requesting the theory to be reviewed. Additionally, Italian prosecutors are now investigating Ballarin as one of six that are considered to be criminally distributing fake news, according to Italian media reports.
In the interview with Kveik, Ballarin elaborated on her support for Trump and unwavering belief in electoral misconduct in 2020. She explains to Kveik, “I’m worried because I want to see good results, whoever they are, that they are legitimate.” However, her alliances become clearer as the interview progresses. “I have always supported the President,” she states. His unhinged sense of national pride seems to match hers, as she believes “He is very proud of our country, a great friend of the fatherland. He wants to make America great again.”
Ballarin falsely claims a $30 million mansion as her own
While she has been expressive in her support for former President Trump, she has revealed little else about her extreme character––making various, extreme claims such as negotiating with Somalian pirates. Rarely accepting media interviews, journalists from Kveik received permission to visit her $30 million mansion, North Wales, in Virginia following the election last year. The villa sprawls across a luscious landscape, accompanied by other small properties. However, it quickly became clear that the estate was not an asset of Ballarin.
It was revealed that the property actually belonged to a deceased, wealthy man named David B. Ford. The estate was listed for sale, with no record of a Michele Ballarin to be found anywhere on official documents. The Kveik team believes that it was all a set-up, intended to give the impression of a wealthy businesswoman’s home. Like an eighteenth-century Ikea room, there were absolutely no signs of Ballarin living there. She insisted the estate was a “recent acquisition” acting as a headquarters of her Institute of Good Governances, while also apparently doubling as her home.
In what seems to be an elaborate and desperate scheme to claim unending wealth, neither the estate nor the defunct WOW Air seems to be within her grasp. You can find us sitting on the sidelines with a bucket of popcorn, waiting to see whose mansion she takes over next!
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