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  1. #226

    Re: The Manafort/Stone Trials

    Paul Manafort is sentenced to a total of 7 1 / 2 years in prison for conspiracy and fraud, and charged with mortgage fraud in N.Y.

    By Spencer S. Hsu ,
    Rachel Weiner and Ann E. Marimow March 13 at 1:16 PM

    Breaking: Paul Manafort has been charged in a 16-count indictment in New York state, the first charges that are outside President Trump’s pardon power. A grand jury returned the indictment charging Trump’s former campaign chairman with mortgage fraud, falsifying business records and conspiracy.

    This is a developing story and will be updated.

    (Per the NYT the SDNY charges are 16 FELONY counts.)

    Once a globetrotting lobbyist and consultant to presidents, Paul Manafort on Wednesday was ordered to spend a total of 7 1 / 2 years in prison for his two federal cases after sentencing by a Washington judge.

    And soon after he left court in a wheelchair to return to the Virginia jail cell where he has begun serving his time, prosecutors in New York announced a 16-count grand jury indictment charging the former Trump campaign chairman with mortgage fraud, falsifying business records and conspiracy.

    Trump would not be able to pardon Manafort, 69, on the state charges -- which separates them from the federal cases for which Manafort was just sentenced.

    In court Wednesday, Judge Amy Berman Jackson criticized Manafort and his defense attorneys for repeatedly blaming his hard fall from power on his decision to work for Trump, which attracted the attention of the special counsel investigating Russian interference in that campaign.

    “This defendant is not public enemy number one, but he’s also not a victim either,” Jackson said. “There’s no question this defendant knew better, and he knew exactly what he was doing.”

    The question of whether anyone in Donald Trump’s campaign “conspired or colluded with” the Russian government “was not presented in this case,” she said, so for Manafort’s attorneys to emphasize that no such collusion was proved, she said, is “a non-sequitur.”

    She added that the assertion may not even be “accurate,” because Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation is not over and she found that Manafort lied to investigators about issues at the heart of the inquiry.

    “It’s not appropriate to say investigators haven’t found anything when you lied to the investigators,” she said.

    “No one is beyond the law in New York,” Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. said in a statement announcing the indictment. “Following an investigation commenced by our office in March 2017, a Manhattan grand jury has charged Mr. Manafort with state criminal violations which strike at the heart of New York’s sovereign interests, including the integrity of our residential mortgage market.”


    Jackson said Manafort’s crimes were “not just a failure to comply with some pesky regulations,” but “lying to the American people and the American Congress. . . . It is hard to overstate the number of lies and amount of money involved.”

    Manafort’s motivation, she added, was “not to support a family, but to sustain a lifestyle that was ostentatiously opulent and extravagantly lavish — more houses thana family can enjoy, more suits than one man can wear.”

    But she agreed with Ellis that sentencing guidelines in the case were excessive. She said that 30 months of her sentence must run concurrently to his Virginia term because the underlying conduct is the same.


    Manafort’s attempt to cover up his crimes by asking witnesses to lie for him, Weissmann said, “is not reflective of somebody who has learned a harsh lesson. It is not a reflection of remorse. It is evidence that something is wrong with sort of a moral compass.”


    Defense attorney Kevin M. Downing said his client is genuinely remorseful and has endured a “media frenzy” that few other defendants in this country have faced. Downing said all sides have sought to spin Manafort’s predicament to their political advantage, adding, that “but for a short stint as campaign manager in a presidential election, I don’t think we would be here today. I think the court should consider that, too.”

    Jackson dismissed that argument, telling Manafort, “Saying ‘I’m sorry I got caught’ is not an inspiring call for leniency.”

    The investigation of Manafort predated the appointment of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III in 2017, and it wasn’t the special counsel’s office that made Manafort lie to investigators, she said.


    Manafort faced two federal trials because he exercised his option to keep the tax and bank fraud charges in the state where he lived...
    "Even if you dance for your enemy on the rock, he will accuse you of splashing water on him." ~ African Proverb

  2. #227

    Re: The Manafort/Stone Trials

    From the NYT:

    The new state charges against Mr. Manafort are contained in a 16-count indictment that alleges a yearlong scheme in which he falsified business records to obtain millions of dollars in loans, Mr. Vance said in a news release after the federal sentencing.

    “No one is beyond the law in New York,” he said, adding that the investigation by the prosecutors in his office had “yielded serious criminal charges for which the defendant has not been held accountable.”

    The indictment grew out of an investigation that began in 2017, when the Manhattan prosecutors began examining loans Mr. Manafort received from two banks.

    Last week, a grand jury hearing evidence in the case voted to charge Mr. Manafort with residential mortgage fraud, conspiracy, falsifying business records and other charges. A lawyer for Mr. Manafort could not immediately be reached for comment.

    The loans were also the subject of Mr. Mueller’s investigation and were the basis for some of the counts in the federal indictment that led to Mr. Manafort’s conviction last year in Virginia. But the Manhattan prosecutors deferred their inquiry in order not to interfere with Mr. Mueller’s larger investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

    In recent months, prosecutors in the district attorney’s Economic Crimes Bureau resumed their inquiry and began presenting evidence to the grand jury, several people with knowledge of the matter have said.

    The district attorney’s office determined some time ago that it would seek charges whether or not the president pardoned Mr. Manafort.

    Mr. Manafort’s lawyers likely will challenge the new indictment on double jeopardy grounds. New York state law includes stronger protections than those provided by the United States Constitution, but prosecutors in Mr. Vance’s office have expressed confidence that they would prevail, people with knowledge of the matter said.
    "Even if you dance for your enemy on the rock, he will accuse you of splashing water on him." ~ African Proverb

  3. #228

    Re: The Manafort/Stone Trials

    He gets 7 1/2 years TOTAL?!
    (Says an unemployed man as he searches the web for WORKABLE AND HOME MADE TAX EVASION SCHEMES THAT WORK. Life of crime, here I go!)
    Starry starry night

  4. #229

    Re: The Manafort/Stone Trials

    It looks like "We the People" have some new digs.
    Mueller's investigation pays for itself.

    Big Cases Bot

    New filing in United States v. Manafort: Order for Forfeiture of Property

    "Even if you dance for your enemy on the rock, he will accuse you of splashing water on him." ~ African Proverb

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