Ex-Trump aide Manafort lied to banks, tax authorities

Glen Norman
August 15, 2018

During ten days of testimony, some 20 prosecution witnesses described how Manafort allegedly avoided paying tax on at least 16 million dollars of income and repeatedly lied to banks as he borrowed millions more.

Paul Manafort lied to "bank after bank after bank" to get loans and falsified his tax returns, a prosecutor said on Wednesday as the former Trump campaign chairman's trial on financial fraud charges moved toward a close.

USA prosecutors on Monday rested their case against Manafort after 10 days of testimony alleging he evaded taxes and defrauded banks.

To view the full article, register now. He was on the campaign team for five months and led it in mid-2016 when Trump was selected as the Republican nominee for the presidential election.

Though both sides have rested their cases, it will still be hours before the jury will start deliberating in Paul Manafort's tax- and bank-fraud trial.

The defense called no witnesses, choosing to rely instead on the team's cross-examination of government witnesses including Rick Gates, Manafort's longtime deputy, and several accountants, bookkeepers and bankers who had financial dealings with Manafort.

Prosecutors say Manafort hid money in offshore bank accounts and then used it to pay for over $6 million in NY and Virginia real estate, items such as antique rugs and fancy clothes, including a $15,000 jacket made of ostrich skin.

The charges against Manafort relate mostly to his handling of money he earned working for Russian-favored politicians in Ukraine from 2005 to 2014, including helping tycoon Viktor Yanukovych become president in 2010. He faces charges of tax fraud, bank fraud and failure to report foreign bank accounts in federal court in Virginia.

Still, the proceedings have drawn U.S. President Donald Trump's attention - and prompted tweets - as the president has worked to undermine the standing of the Mueller investigation in the public square. Gates struck a plea deal with prosecutors and has provided much of the drama of the trial so far.

"Any purported misstatements regarding Mr. Manafort's income or credit card debt were immaterial" to the bank's decision about whether to make the loans, according to the filing. During testimony, Gates was forced to admit embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from Manafort and conducting an extramarital affair. Judge T.S. Ellis (rear C) looks on.

"He is not above the law", Andres said.

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