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  1. #46

    Re: The Manafort Trial

    The trial will last until after the mid term elections. Then, whatever term he will be given, he will receive a pardon from 45. Because if he doesn't, he (Manafort) spills what he has on 45 and it gets even worse.
    This guy will not spend an extra day of his life in prison. He will be pardoned and then... Cyprus? I hear it is a lovely island, especially if you have money. Which I doubt he does not have some more hidden somewhere.
    Starry starry night

  2. #47

    Re: The Manafort Trial

    Quote Originally Posted by ponchi101 View Post
    The trial will last until after the mid term elections. Then, whatever term he will be given, he will receive a pardon from 45. Because if he doesn't, he (Manafort) spills what he has on 45 and it gets even worse.
    This guy will not spend an extra day of his life in prison. He will be pardoned and then... Cyprus? I hear it is a lovely island, especially if you have money. Which I doubt he does not have some more hidden somewhere.
    He'd sign up for it no doubt, but unfortunately for him this is not the only trial he's under. This particular one is about tax evasion and bank fraud only.
    Roger forever

  3. #48

    Re: The Manafort Trial

    Day 7 Preview

    Paul Manafort trial Day 7: Defense said it wouldn’t ask Gates about affair, then he volunteered it, transcript shows


    Paul Manafort, President Trump’s onetime campaign chairman, is on trial in federal court in Alexandria on bank and tax fraud charges. Prosecutors allege that he failed to pay taxes on millions he made from his work for a Russia-friendly Ukrainian political party, then lied to get loans when the cash stopped coming in.

    The case is being prosecuted by the special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

    9:12 a.m.: Where is Andrew Weissmann?[/B]

    Until the trial for Paul Manafort started, Andrew Weissmann had been one of the most prominent members of the prosecution team. He spoke in federal court in Virginia when Manafort pleaded not guilty to bank and tax fraud charges there, and defense attorneys accused him of leaking information to the press on Manafort before joining the special counsel’s office.

    Behind the scenes, he was equally integral. Manafort business partner Rick Gates testified Tuesday that it was Weissmann who confronted him about a lie he had told special counsel investigators, and it was Weissmann who told him he would have to admit to that lie in an additional charge to keep his plea deal with the special counsel’s office alive.

    But Weissmann has notably not questioned any witnesses at Manafort’s Virginia trial. He has not even sat at the prosecution table. When Weissmann has come to the courtroom — and he has not been spotted every day — he has sat alongside members of the public.

    There is no reason to believe Weissmann’s absence is for nefarious reasons. The special counsel’s office has pushed back against the leak allegation, and while an FBI agent testified he was present at a meeting with AP reporters about Manafort, the agent said the AP was offered little more than a “no comment” and an acknowledgement that their reporters were generally on track.

    It is possible Weissmann is preparing for Manafort’s next trial in D.C. — which touches on issues similar to those in Virginia but delves more deeply into Manafort’s work in Ukraine and the U.S. registration requirements associated with it. Weissmann made a filing in that case as recently as Monday.

    A spokesman for the special counsel’s declined to comment.

    9:25 a.m.: Gates wasn’t actually asked about having an affair. He admitted that on his own.

    On Tuesday, defense attorney Kevin Downing appeared to press Rick Gates to admit he had an extramarital affair as part of the effort to discredit his testimony against Paul Manafort. But a transcript of a bench conference held before the cross-examination shows that Downing hadn’t planned to get into Gates’s infidelity.

    “The government raised an issue whether or not we were going to cross-examine Mr. Gates about specific acts of marital infidelity,” Downing told Judge T.S. Ellis III. “We don’t plan on doing that, but we plan on questioning him about what we call his, you know, separate secret life and how … it relates to money he had stolen, embezzled, and things that he was doing, but specifically as to infidelity, we do not think we’re going to get into that.”

    Prosecutor Greg Andres had objected to the defense using the affair against Gates, saying the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled “that if somebody cheats on their wife or whatever, it’s not necessarily indicative of truthfulness.”

    Downing said his point was not that Gates cheated on his wife but that “he was leading a separate secret life from Mr. Manafort and from others” and that he embezzled from his boss to fund that lifestyle.


    But as soon as Downing asked about “the secret life of Rick Gates,” the witness volunteered, “There was a period of time, almost ten years ago, when I had a relationship, yes. ”

    When asked if he took “unauthorized expenses” from Manafort to fund the “separate secret life,” Gates replied, “yes, I acknowledge I had a period of time where I had another relationship.” But Gates said most of the money he spent on the affair came from his legitimate bonuses or from his family, and that most of the money he embezzled he shared with his wife.
    "Even if you dance for your enemy on the rock, he will accuse you of splashing water on him." ~ African Proverb




  4. #49

    Re: The Manafort Trial

    Day 7 Part 1

    10:25 a.m.: Gates disclosed off-shore accounts to FBI in 2014, thought he was truthful


    Rick Gates took the witness stand for a third day shortly before 10 a.m., describing how he had been interviewed by the FBI as far back as 2014 about his work in Ukraine – and believed he had told the truth.

    Under questioning from defense attorney Kevin Downing, Gates said he met with FBI agents and Justice Department lawyers in July of that year. The way he understood it, the bureau was investigating money that Viktor Yanukovych, the political candidate for whom he and Paul Manafort had worked, might have taken out of Ukraine.

    Notably, Gates said he disclosed to the FBI some of the Cyprus and Grenadine bank accounts that he and Manafort used to receive payments from their Ukrainian benefactors. He said Manafort told him they should be “open and provide the information” in response to the bureau’s questions. Gates testified he told the FBI they opened the accounts so they could easily get payments from the people they worked for in Ukraine.

    The testimony is important because prosecutors have sought to demonstrate that Gates and Manafort hid their connection to the accounts and did not report them on required forms. That is the basis for some of their charges. Their disclosing the accounts to the FBI in 2014 cuts against the idea that they were hiding them. Gates also testified that he and Manafort talked after their interviews, and Manafort indicated he had been truthful in his own conversation with the bureau.

    Gates might be on the witness stand only briefly Wednesday. Downing said he intended to question him for only 15 more minutes, and prosecutors said they would have another half-hour or less of questions.


    10:33 a.m.: In rebuttal questioning, prosecutors show Gates hid income from off-short accounts in 2014 FBI interview

    Kevin Downing ended his cross-examination of Rick Gates by asking what Paul Manafort’s net worth was around 2015 and 2016.

    Was it $20 million? Downing asked.

    Gates responded that he was “not privy to” Manafort’s personal finances and did not know the value of all his properties, but “I thought somewhere in the realm of $6 [million] to $12 million.”

    Prosecutors have said Manafort reported wildly different numbers for his net worth. On loan applications over a three-month period in 2016, he represented his net worth as $15 million, $17 million, $21 million and $36 million, according to the court documents.

    Special counsel attorney Greg Andres then came back to the podium. He started by rebutting the idea that Gates and Manafort were honest with the FBI in 2014, when agents were investigating their former Ukraine client Victor Yanukovych.

    Gates agreed that the agents did not ask about tax returns and that most of the Cyprus accounts at issue were already closed at that point.

    He said he did not tell the agents about any hidden income from those accounts.

    Gates again testified that Manafort asked him to go to France and meet with one of their Ukraine patrons, wealthy politician Serhiy Lyovochkin. Gates said Manafort wanted to know if the entity Lyovochkin used to pay them was “clean” — used only for those payments and nothing else.

    Andres then went on to ask Gates again about his plea deal. Downing said yesterday that prosecutors had agreed not to oppose his request for a probationary sentence, although he faces up to ten years in prison. But reading the plea agreement in court, Gates agreed that the commitment was not iron-clad. The document says the special counsel “may not” oppose such a motion, depending on the “precise nature” of Gates’ cooperation.


    10:59 a.m.: Gates told Manafort of his affair, said it lasted five months

    Near the end of his questioning of Gates, prosecutor Andres asked about the affair Gates disclosed during his testimony yesterday. Gates said it was a five-month affair that occurred 10 years ago. Gates said it was something he discussed with his wife and had told Manafort about.

    Andres spent much of the questioning trying to rebuild Gates’s credibility after the defense cross-examination. Gates testified that he voluntarily disclosed to the FBI that he was embezzling from Manafort. Gates also testified that Manafort said they didn’t need to disclose the foreign bank accounts or report the money coming into the accounts to tax advisers.

    Addressing defense questioning of Gates’s motivations for testifying, Andres asked again about Gates’s plea deal and the prison time he faces. Did Gates think he faced up to 200 years in prison on charges out of the federal court in Alexandria, Andres asked? Gates said he thought he would face a lesser sentence. Ellis interjected, asking how short Gates thought the sentence would be. “I thought it was in the range of 100 years your honor,” Gates said.

    11:16 a.m.: Defense suggests Gates had four extramarital affairs between 2010 and 2014

    Rick Gates stepped down from the witness stand just before 11 a.m. Wednesday after a stunning suggestion from one of Paul Manafort’s defense attorneys: Gates might have committed four extramarital affairs.

    The suggestion came in a final round of cross examination from defense attorney Kevin Downing. After prosecutors asked Gates about his pre-trial prep with special counsel lawyers, and Gates testified he had “no doubt at all” his plea agreement would be shredded if he lied on the witness stand, Downing probed more into what he referred to a day earlier as Gates’s “secret life.”

    The defense attorney pointed to about $3 million in transactions, from 2010 to 2014, that he has suggested represent money Gates embezzled from Manafort. He noted an extramarital affair that Gates admitted to Tuesday. Then he asked: Did Gates recall telling the special counsel’s office “that you actually engaged in four extramarital affairs?”

    Prosecutors objected, asking why that question was relevant. Downing said it might speak to the idea that Gates’s lying on the witness stand would result in his plea agreement being torn up. The lawyers convened at Judge T.S. Ellis III’s bench for a lengthy conversation that was shrouded in white noise piped through the courtroom.

    When the conference broke up, Downing did not ask the same question. Instead, he pointed to the 2010-2014 time period and his earlier questions about Gates’s “secret life.” Those questions first prompted Gates to reveal an affair. Downing asked Gates if his secret life encompassed this period of time.

    “Mr. Downing, I’d say I made many mistakes, over many years,” Gates said.

    Ellis interrupted, telling Gates to answer the question.

    “It did,” Gates said.

    11:32 a.m.: Gates testimony ends, forensic accountant expected to follow money trail

    With Rick Gates off the stand, testimony will now turn from the salacious to the technical. Morgan Magionos, an FBI forensic accountant, is expected to testify for about two hours, talking about tracing payments from Ukraine through Cyprus to Paul Manafort’s clothiers and home improvement contractors in the United States.

    Prosecutors and defense attorneys are still debating whether Magionos will be allowed to read from Manafort’s own emails regarding the flow of money. Those statements are admissible, Judge T.S. Ellis said, but he’s not sure they can be introduced through this agent.
    "Even if you dance for your enemy on the rock, he will accuse you of splashing water on him." ~ African Proverb




  5. #50

    Re: The Manafort Trial

    Just a sidenote:

    If this is true the defense has opened the door for this to come out in open court.

    "The previous November, as the cache of texts shows, his daughters had caught him in an affair with a woman more than 30 years his junior. It was an expensive relationship. According to the text messages, Manafort had rented his mistress a $9,000-a-month apartment in Manhattan and a house in the Hamptons, not far from his own. He had handed her an American Express card, which she’d used to good effect. “I only go to luxury restaurants,” she once declared on a friend’s fledgling podcast, speaking expansively about her photo posts on social media: caviar, lobster, haute cuisine."

    -Franklin Foer
    from 'American Hustler', The Atlantic March 2018 issue
    People in glass houses, etc., etc.
    "Even if you dance for your enemy on the rock, he will accuse you of splashing water on him." ~ African Proverb




  6. #51

    Re: The Manafort Trial

    Anyone who would pay money for this jacket deserves to be trolled.


    Did Paul Manafort spend money for this jacket? An FBI accountant is expected to testify about the trail of money from Manafort’s off-shore accounts to his clothiers, among other merchants. (Courtesy Special Counsel’s Office)
    "Even if you dance for your enemy on the rock, he will accuse you of splashing water on him." ~ African Proverb




  7. #52

    Re: The Manafort Trial

    Day 7 Part 2

    12:31 p.m.: Judge again spars with prosecutors


    After a lengthy break, Judge T.S. Ellis III again sparred with prosecutors over the pace of the trial and evidence they want to admit. The heated argument has been a common occurrence in the trial.

    The latest dispute centered on charts prosecutors want to show jurors demonstrating the flow of money from Paul Manafort’s offshore accounts to specific purchases he made in the United States. They intend to do so as they question the next witness, FBI accountant Morgan Magionos.

    Defense attorneys argued the charts were cumulative, essentially repeating evidence about which other witnesses already had testified.

    That argument appealed to Ellis, who has repeatedly pushed prosecutors to increase the speed with which they are presenting their case. Ellis noted the defense was not contesting Manafort made the purchases with foreign accounts and questioned whether an elaborate presentation with an FBI accountant testifying about the charts was necessary.

    In arguing he should be allowed to use the charts, prosecutor Greg Andres said the FBI accountant had done a great deal of work to put them to together.

    “Look, it isn’t relevant that she spent her life doing it,” Ellis remarked, drawing laughter from those in the court.

    “We need to find a way to focus sharply,” the judge said.

    The exchange grew somewhat more heated.

    “We’ve been focused sharply for a long time,” Andres said. He noted the government had to tie specific receipts to specific payments, and that defense attorneys had not agreed to any formal stipulations on that topic.


    Defense attorney Richard Westling said defense attorneys would stipulate to one of the prosecution’s charts, which offered a high-level summary of Manafort’s purchases and the flow of money. Andres said he was “at a loss,” noting the defense had not agreed to do so before Wednesday and that it would be faster to merely question the accountant as planned, rather than write a formal stipulation.

    Ellis ultimately agreed to let Andres question Magionos, though he warned he would be on a short leash and he would consider objections from the defense at his bench as the testimony proceeded.

    “Judges should be patient. They made a mistake when they confirmed me,” Ellis quipped.

    As jurors were about to be led into the courtroom, Ellis then remarked that he would not let the FBI’s accountant read certain emails from Paul Manafort that prosecutors want jurors to hear. Andres said he hoped to address that issue later in the afternoon. With jurors walking into the courtroom, Ellis thundered that he had read the prosecutors’ brief and seemed to imply he considered the matter decided. He said one previous court decision they were relying on contained only a “a throwaway line” to support their argument.

    Andres fell silent as the jurors took their seats and Magionos was called to the stand.


    12:53 p.m.: Forensic accountant takes stand to track Manafort’s money

    Morgan Magionos is the FBI forensic accountant who traced Paul Manafort’s financial affairs as part of the investigation and connected the foreign bank accounts to domestic spending activity.

    Magionos, a certified public accountant and certified fraud examiner, reviewed documents and statements from banks in Cyprus, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Britain to analyze Manafort’s overseas financial activity.

    Magionos found 31 foreign bank accounts spanning 2010 to 2014 that listed Manafort, Rick Gates or Konstantin Kilimnik as the beneficial owners.

    Magionos said she connected the overseas bank accounts to Manafort in part because pictures of his passport were included in the account opening applications.

    Those accounts were closed in 2013, Magionos testified.


    Court broke for lunch until 1:35 with Ellis again urging prosecutor Greg Andres to move the questioning along as quickly as possible. Andres estimated he had another hour but would do his best.
    "Even if you dance for your enemy on the rock, he will accuse you of splashing water on him." ~ African Proverb




  8. #53

    Re: The Manafort Trial

    Day 7 Part 3

    2:13 p.m.: Manafort moved off-shore accounts from Cyprus to St. Vincent & the Grenadines, accountant says


    FBI forensic accountant Morgan Magionos is now testifying that by July 2014, when Manafort was interviewed by the FBI, he had closed all his bank accounts in Cyprus for which he was listed as a “beneficial owner.” Instead, he had opened accounts in St. Vincent and the Grenadines where Russian business associate Konstantin Kilimnik was listed as the owner and employees of his Cypriot lawyer, Kypros Chrysostomides, were given signature authority.

    There was a banking crisis in Cyprus, Gates testified earlier, that led Manafort to move his money to St. Vincent & the Grenadines.

    Magionos went on to testify about a list she created of companies in Cyprus, saying Manafort, Kilimnik or Rick Gates were on the incorporating documents. The directors and secretaries for many of those companies, she said, came from an entity called Inter Jura Cy, which was associated with the Cypriot lawyer’s firm.

    While Cyprus was at the time known as an offshore tax haven where the wealthy could quietly hide their money, prosecutors said they were able to get Manafort’s records through a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty with the country.


    2:46 p.m.: Emails show Manafort transferring money from off-shore accounts to buy real estate, clothes, cars

    FBI forensic accountant Morgan Magionos is now sifting through various invoices and documents showing that overseas money tied to Manafort was used to pay for purchases at Alan Couture, Big Picture Solutions, Land Rover of Alexandria and other vendors.

    Magionos also testified about strings of emails showing Paul Manafort messaging his lawyers about making wire transfers from offshore accounts to vendors. Magionos testified that the payments from foreign accounts went to purchase real estate or other expenses for Manafort, his business, DMP International, and his family and related entities.

    “Pls make the 5 transfers listed below from the Leviathan account and confirm to me when completed,” Manafort wrote in one email to his Cypriot law firm. Shortly after, $32,500 was transferred to Alan Couture, a store where Manafort purchased high-end clothes. In sum, more than $748,400 from Manafort’s overseas accounts went to Alan Couture between March and November of 2010.

    Similar money from overseas accounts tied to Manafort went to Big Picture Solutions ($1,661,201) and Land Rover of Alexandria ($163,705). Though some domestic funds were used to cover invoices, a bulk of the payments were covered by Manafort’s foreign bank accounts.


    2:56 p.m.: Prosecutors now matching off-shore wire transfers to Manafort’s luxury vendors

    Prosecutors are continuing to methodically trace how money flowed from Paul Manafort’s overseas accounts to purchase luxury clothing, rugs, landscaping and other goods and services in the United States. With virtually every vendor jurors heard about earlier in the trial, prosecutors have displayed a chart showing the company’s bills to Manafort on one side, and the foreign wire transfers to apparently pay those bills on the other.

    On some charts, the amount billed has curiously been less than the amount paid. The invoices for Scott L. Wilson landscaping, for example, listed Manafort as having owed $218,000, but he appeared to have paid more than $512,000 — $503,000 of it through foreign bank accounts. FBI accountant Morgan Magionos said the discrepancy was because she compiled the chart based only on the invoices that the business had provided, though she offered no further explanation.


    The purpose of the charts is to connect Manafort to his foreign bank accounts, and to show the volume of money which prosecutors say he failed to claim on his taxes. Prosecutors further bolstered their case by showing emails in which Manafort explicitly directed transfers from the accounts.

    The data-heavy testimony has dragged at times. Most jurors are still taking notes and assiduously reading the computer screens, but a few have rubbed their eyes, or leaned back and crossed their arms. At one point, after prosecutor Greg Andres presented a chart showing how money from two of Manafort’s foreign accounts flowed through several other accounts before it was ultimately used to buy a home in New York City, Judge T.S. Ellis III interrupted to clarify that his purpose was to show Manafort did not report all his income on his tax returns.

    Andres said it was, and confirmed that prosecutors were not alleging, at least in this trial, that the flow of money through various accounts was otherwise illegal.

    “One can get lost with all these movements of monies, and sometimes it seems that that’s what the government is aiming at,” Ellis said.


    3:42 p.m.: Manafort took in $60 million over five years, including $31 million from Ukrainian politicians in 2012 (This replaces and updates the 3:18p post)

    A forensic accountant from the FBI closed her direct testimony by saying that between 2010 and 2014 over $60 million flowed through Paul Manafort’s overseas accounts and he spent $15 million of that on homes, clothes and other personal purchases.

    The year 2012 appears to have been Manafort’s most lucrative; he was paid over $31 million dollars by Ukrainian politicians and kept over $27 million of that, FBI accountant Morgan Magionos testified.

    That was also the year he spent the most money — over $9.2 million, she testified, mostly on real estate.

    Prosecutors say Manafort paid taxes on only about half of his foreign income. He is also accused in Washington, D.C. federal court of failing to register as a foreign agent for his work in Ukraine. He did register in June of 2017 but Magionos testified that in those filings he understated his foreign income significantly.

    In 2012, for example, she said the Foreign Agent Registration Act filing showed only $12 million in receipts and $7 million in income. But the FARA filing also gave larger numbers than what Manafort told his bookkeeper for his taxes last year, she said.

    Magionos did not testify to his 2012 reported taxable income, but the indictment lists it as $5.4 million.
    "Even if you dance for your enemy on the rock, he will accuse you of splashing water on him." ~ African Proverb




  9. #54

    Re: The Manafort Trial

    Day 7 Part 4

    4:11 p.m.: FBI accountant acknowledges discrepancies in handwriting of Manafort banking documents


    On cross-examination, one of Paul Manafort’s attorneys, Richard Westling, tried to undermine the credibility of the documents FBI accountant Morgan Magionos used to conduct her analysis of Manafort’s foreign banking activity. Westling flashed various documents on the screen showing signatures presumed to be Manafort’s, but pointed out discrepancies in the handwriting.

    “It does look a little different,” Magionos testified when Westling asked about the differences between two bank documents, with one document showing a signature that was more truncated than the other.

    In a second example, comparing a signature on a foreign banking document to a loan application to the Bank of California, Westling asked, “Those appear to be substantially different, don’t they?”

    “Yes,” Magionos replied.

    Under Westling’s questioning Magionos also testified that she did not know whether Manafort himself signed the documents she used in tracing the overseas funds, but added that the bank statements and other filings did list him as the benefactor of the accounts.

    Magionos testified there were discrepancies between the FARA filings and income Manafort reported to book keepers in both 2012 and 2013, but she didn’t find any discrepancies for 2014.

    4:25 p.m.: Is that Manafort’s signature? Or that? Prosecutors, judge ponder handwriting on Manafort documents

    Prosecutors tried to end their questioning of FBI accountant Morgan Magionos by turning the tables on defense attorneys – showing two signatures on the same bank document seized from Paul Manafort’s home that they seemed to believe were different. Defense attorneys had just performed the same exercise, and Magionos acknowledged one signature on the bank document seized in Manafort’s home appeared different than signatures on documents from foreign accounts.

    The defense seemed to suggest Manafort did not actually sign documents that bear his name on accounts in Cyprus, though in some cases, the documents were even accompanied by his passport photo. Defense attorney Richard Westling asked Magionos if Manafort’s former partner Rick Gates had access to Manafort’s passport, implying he might be to blame. She said she did not know.

    In response, prosecutor Greg Andres projected to the jury two different pages of a bank document seized from Manafort’s home, showing two signatures from two different dates that appeared to be Manafort’s. Andres asked Magionos if she thought they looked different, and she said they did.

    Ellis interrupted.

    “I’m sorry, you’re saying those don’t look the same? That’s what you’re saying?” he asked incredulously.

    She confirmed she thought the signatures looked different.

    “All right, it’s up to the jury whether they look the same,” Ellis concluded.


    4:29 p.m.: Prosecutors call a witness who has watched the whole trial, angering Judge Ellis

    Next up for prosecutors is IRS Revenue Agent Michael Welch, who was assigned in April to help prosecutors prepare for trial. Welch testified that he examined Paul Manafort’s business and tax records and, as with the last witness, prepared charts summarizing what he had found.

    Welch’s appearance on the stand triggered another heated confrontation between Judge T.S. Ellis III and prosecutors. After going through Welch’s qualifications, prosecutors asked if he could be treated as an “expert” witness — meaning he, unlike other witnesses, will be allowed to offer his professional opinion in court. Ellis said he could do so. Assistant U.S. Attorney Uzo Asonye then revealed that Welch had been seated in the courtroom for the duration of the proceedings.

    Ellis erupted, saying that he typically bars all witnesses — save the case agent — from observing the proceedings, and thought he had done so in this case.

    Asonye responded that he thought experts were also allowed to stay and observe. Ellis said that was not his practice, and while he would permit Welch to testify, he issued a stern warning to Asonye, who prosecutes cases in his district.

    “I want you to remember, don’t do that again. When I exclude witnesses, I mean everybody,” Ellis growled.
    "Even if you dance for your enemy on the rock, he will accuse you of splashing water on him." ~ African Proverb




  10. #55

    Re: The Manafort Trial

    Day 7 Part 5

    5:13 p.m.: IRS agent: Manafort did not pay taxes on $15.5 million in Ukrainian income


    Prosecutors are using IRS agent Michael Welch to state clearly what they argued in opening statements and have had witnesses testify on for several days now — Paul Manafort did not pay taxes on all of the income he earned in Ukraine between 2010 and 2014.

    Welch testified that Manafort had $16.4 million in unreported income between 2010 to 2014. The IRS agent said that the tax returns Manafort filed in those years were also false because he didn’t indicate he had foreign bank accounts.

    “They failed to check the box that Mr. Manafort had a foreign bank account,” Welch said, later adding, “He should have marked the box, ‘Yes.'”

    Welch said Manafort received about $15.5 million from Ukraine which he then paid directly to vendors, and which he did not report or pay taxes on. The money never entered Manafort’s business or personal accounts in the United States, Welch said. Manafort also falsely classified another $1.5 million in income as a loan, Welch testified. An FBI accountant testified earlier Wednesday that more than $60 million flowed through Manafort’s overseas accounts between 2010 and 2014, and he spent $15 million of that on homes, clothes and other personal purchases.

    Asked the obvious question — whether the IRS would want to know about this money — Welch gave the obvious answer: yes, they would.

    Welch said he also looked at the income that was never brought into the United States. He said he was “conservative” in what he allowed as possible business expenses — including 132,000 euros to a yacht company, $49,000 for an Italian villa rental, $45,000 for cosmetic dentistry and $19,800 for a riding academy — because he heard “no testimony” explaining their purpose.

    Even under that conservative analysis, he said, Manafort did not report millions of dollars in off-shore income.

    Under cross-examination, defense attorney Kevin Downing raised questions about an “embezzlement deduction” Manafort might have been able to take and whether he might have been able to spread out reported income as a way to explain discrepancies. Welch testified those would be possibilities, but it didn’t change his assessment that Manafort filed false tax returns and failed to report income.

    And, Welch said, if one wanted to take an “embezzlement deduction” one would have to report the income to start with to even qualify.


    Prosecutors concluded the day by telling jurors that Manafort and his family had defaulted on a loan in 2016 and faced court proceedings as a result, though Manafort paid back the principal with a separate loan the following year.

    Prosecutor Greg Andres told the judge the government intends to call eight more witnesses — each of whom will testify for an hour or less. He said the government expects to rest by Friday. Testimony resumes at 9:30 a.m. Thursday.


    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...=.a14373e1abbd
    "Even if you dance for your enemy on the rock, he will accuse you of splashing water on him." ~ African Proverb




  11. #56

    Re: The Manafort Trial

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




  12. #57

    Re: The Manafort Trial

    Day 8

    Paul Manafort trial Day 8: Judge Ellis apologizes for outburst at prosecutors
    By Rachel Weiner, Matt Zapotosky, Lynh Bui and Tom Jackman
    August 9 at 10:01 AM

    9:05 a.m: Bring in the bankers

    Wednesday’s testimony was focused on the tax fraud allegations against Paul Manafort. Based on the witnesses prosecutors have said they intend to call, Thursday will focus on the bank fraud they say he turned to after his Ukraine political work dried up.

    Prosecutors say Manafort fraudulently secured more than $20 million dollars in bank loans by falsely inflating his income and failing to disclose debts. His former accountant Cindy Laporta has already testified that she participated in that fraud, as did his ex-employee Rick Gates. Prosecutors have pointed to an email in which Manafort sends to one bank a profit-and-loss statement his bookkeeper testified was inaccurate. Gates testified that he sent other falsified documents at Manafort’s request, and Laporta said she made false representations to banks after conversations with Manafort and Gates.

    9:25 a.m.: Thoughts on the Manafort jury, so far

    As prosecutors near the end of their case, they likely have one question on their minds: What does the jury make of all of this? In their body language, the panel of six men and six women have offered few clues. But after observing them for the past two weeks, here’s what we can say:

    1) They’re observant.

    Many of the jurors have diligently taken notes throughout the proceedings, peering down into small monitors in front of them to scrutinize bank and tax documents. Even as the testimony turned from luxury suits and extramarital affairs to flow charts and accrual-based accounting, most, though not all, continued to listen intently to the witness and scribble in their court-provided notebooks. A few times, jurors rubbed their eyes during the wonky testimony — but that is probably to be expected given the subject matter.

    [Who’s who at the Manafort trial]

    (2) They’re respectful of the judge

    Judge T.S. Ellis III asks the jurors before court begins each day whether they were able to follow his instructions and not discuss the case with anyone. Some of the jurors respond loudly, “Yes, judge” or “Yes, your honor.” When Ellis makes jokes — and he has done so frequently throughout the proceedings — many of the jurors laugh vigorously. Even some bits he repeats — for example, telling jurors he hopes their lunch was “adequate” — have continued to draw chuckles from the panel.

    (3) They’re friendly with one another — for now

    During the first week of the trial, the jury asked to bring in a birthday cake, apparently to celebrate one of their birthdays. On Wednesday, the group could be heard laughing loudly just before entering the courtroom. In the second week of the trial, the jurors seem to have developed some a friendly rapport — though they have been instructed not to discuss the case, so any divisions in how they feel about the case presumably have yet to be exposed.
    "Even if you dance for your enemy on the rock, he will accuse you of splashing water on him." ~ African Proverb




  13. #58

    Re: The Manafort Trial

    Day 8 Part 1


    10:01 a.m.: Judge Ellis begins court with mea culpa for outburst over expert

    U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III has raked prosecutors from the special counsel’s office over the coals for the past week and a half. But on Thursday, he backed down, telling jurors to ignore one piece of criticism.


    U.S. District Court Judge T.S. Ellis III is presiding, sometimes colorfully, over the trial of Paul Manafort. (Tracy Woodward/The Washington Post)

    “I was critical of counsel for … allowing an expert to remain in the courtroom,” he said before testimony began. “You may put that aside… I may well have been wrong.”

    On Wednesday, Ellis scolded prosecutors for calling an IRS expert who has sat through the trial in the gallery. Prosecutors filed a motion Thursday morning pointing out that the transcript backed up their understanding that Ellis had explicitly allowed the expert to do so.

    “The Court’s sharp reprimand of government counsel in front of the jury on August 8was therefore erroneous,” the prosecutors wrote. “And, while mistakes are a natural part of the trial process, the mistake here prejudiced the government by conveying to the jury that the government had acted improperly and had violated court rules or procedures. The exchange could very well lead the jury to reach two erroneous inferences: (a) that Mr. Welch’s testimony is not credible because he was improperly privy to the testimony of other witnesses, and (b) that the government sought to secure an unfair advantage by secreting its expert in the courtroom without permission…This prejudice should be cured.”

    Ellis said Thursday that he had not actually read the transcript, which was attached to the government motion.

    But, the judge said, “I was probably wrong.”

    He added that he makes mistakes, “like any human — and this robe doesn’t make me any more than a human.”

    He concluded, “Any criticism of counsel should be put aside — it doesn’t have anything to do with this case.”

    Prosecutors then called their first witness, Melinda James. She said her name was previously Melinda Francis. According to emails already produced in court, Francis works at Citizens Bank.
    "Even if you dance for your enemy on the rock, he will accuse you of splashing water on him." ~ African Proverb




  14. #59

    Re: The Manafort Trial

    Day 8 Part 2

    10:37 a.m.: Documents show Manafort claimed Manhattan property was a ‘second residence’ in obtaining $3.4 million loan


    With their first witness of the day, prosecutors sought to detail how Paul Manafort defrauded Citizens Bank – obtaining a $3.4 million loan in part by falsely claiming a property he owned in New York was a second residence, rather than a rental property.

    Mortgage loan assistant Melinda James, who works at Citizens Bank, described for jurors how in 2016 Manafort sought what is known as a $3.4 million cash-out refinance on a property he owned on 29 Howard Street in lower Manhattan. What that means, James testified, is that Manafort was essentially seeking to refinance so he could get cash for the equity in the property.

    As he questioned James, Assistant U.S. Attorney Uzo Asonye flashed for jurors the various mortgage documents Manafort signed and emails Manafort wrote attaching documents to support his loan application. That is important because defense attorneys have sought to cast blame for the fraud of which Manafort is accused on his business partner, Rick Gates.

    For this particular loan, jurors saw emails demonstrating Manafort’s direct involvement. James testified that Manafort told her she could talk to Gates if Manafort himself wasn’t available, but she typically copied Manafort on emails, since the loan was for him.

    Asonye repeatedly flashed instances in which Manafort affixed his signature to passages asserting that the information he was submitting was accurate, and that if he had knowingly provided something that was false, he could face civil or criminal penalties. On the documents, Manafort said the 29 Howard Street property was a “secondary residence” that generated no rental income. Prosecutors have asserted that is not true, and have shown jurors evidence that Manafort treated the property as a rental.


    James testified that though all the applications Manafort submitted indicated his property on 29 Howard St. was a second residence, her research indicated otherwise. She said that as she was processing the loan, she went to a website called StreetEasy to confirm the address.

    “It was listed for rent,” James testified.

    In addition to flashing documents showing Manafort signed papers falsely declaring the property was a second residence, prosecutors presented emails and correspondence from Manafort to show he had direct knowledge of the fraudulent transactions.

    For example, Manafort emailed Citizens Bank on Jan. 21, 2016 to ask about the status of the loan.

    “Has the appraisal been ordered?…What are the next steps,” Manafort wrote.

    “Our research shows that the property was listed for rent (which it cannot be),” James’s boss wrote in a reply and requested additional documents.

    In later correspondence, Manafort listed a lease agreement for the property that indicated his daughter and her husband at the time lived at the residence. In a Feb. 2, 2016, letter justifying why he was applying for the loan, Manafort said the Howard Street property “is used as a second home for us.”

    Prosecutor Uzo Asonye, however, alluded to a 2015 tax return, in which the property was listed as a rental that generated about $100,000 in income.

    James testified that had Manafort listed the Howard Street property as a rental, it could have impacted the outcome of his loan application.
    "Even if you dance for your enemy on the rock, he will accuse you of splashing water on him." ~ African Proverb




  15. #60

    Re: The Manafort Trial

    Day 8 Part 2

    10:37 a.m.: Documents show Manafort claimed Manhattan property was a ‘second residence’ in obtaining $3.4 million loan


    With their first witness of the day, prosecutors sought to detail how Paul Manafort defrauded Citizens Bank – obtaining a $3.4 million loan in part by falsely claiming a property he owned in New York was a second residence, rather than a rental property.

    Mortgage loan assistant Melinda James, who works at Citizens Bank, described for jurors how in 2016 Manafort sought what is known as a $3.4 million cash-out refinance on a property he owned on 29 Howard Street in lower Manhattan. What that means, James testified, is that Manafort was essentially seeking to refinance so he could get cash for the equity in the property.

    As he questioned James, Assistant U.S. Attorney Uzo Asonye flashed for jurors the various mortgage documents Manafort signed and emails Manafort wrote attaching documents to support his loan application. That is important because defense attorneys have sought to cast blame for the fraud of which Manafort is accused on his business partner, Rick Gates.

    For this particular loan, jurors saw emails demonstrating Manafort’s direct involvement. James testified that Manafort told her she could talk to Gates if Manafort himself wasn’t available, but she typically copied Manafort on emails, since the loan was for him.

    Asonye repeatedly flashed instances in which Manafort affixed his signature to passages asserting that the information he was submitting was accurate, and that if he had knowingly provided something that was false, he could face civil or criminal penalties. On the documents, Manafort said the 29 Howard Street property was a “secondary residence” that generated no rental income. Prosecutors have asserted that is not true, and have shown jurors evidence that Manafort treated the property as a rental.


    James testified that though all the applications Manafort submitted indicated his property on 29 Howard St. was a second residence, her research indicated otherwise. She said that as she was processing the loan, she went to a website called StreetEasy to confirm the address.

    “It was listed for rent,” James testified.

    In addition to flashing documents showing Manafort signed papers falsely declaring the property was a second residence, prosecutors presented emails and correspondence from Manafort to show he had direct knowledge of the fraudulent transactions.

    For example, Manafort emailed Citizens Bank on Jan. 21, 2016 to ask about the status of the loan.

    “Has the appraisal been ordered?…What are the next steps,” Manafort wrote.

    “Our research shows that the property was listed for rent (which it cannot be),” James’s boss wrote in a reply and requested additional documents.

    In later correspondence, Manafort listed a lease agreement for the property that indicated his daughter and her husband at the time lived at the residence. In a Feb. 2, 2016, letter justifying why he was applying for the loan, Manafort said the Howard Street property “is used as a second home for us.”

    Prosecutor Uzo Asonye, however, alluded to a 2015 tax return, in which the property was listed as a rental that generated about $100,000 in income.

    James testified that had Manafort listed the Howard Street property as a rental, it could have impacted the outcome of his loan application.

    11:28 a.m.: Banker testifies Manafort also lied about Brooklyn mortgage to get loan

    After testifying that Paul Manafort falsely claimed a condo he rented out in lower Manhattan was a second home, Citizens Bank mortgage loan assistant Melinda James said he also lied about whether there was a mortgage on a townhouse he owned in Brooklyn.

    James said that in emails Manafort indicated he owned the Carroll Gardens home “free and clear,” but insurance declarations showed a mortgage on the property. James said that in conversations and emails with Manafort’s employee Rick Gates, she was made to understand that a loan against the property had been approved but not finalized.

    Manafort was copied on those emails.

    Gates sent her a new email, again copying Manafort, showing there was no mortgage on the property and attaching insurance documents “reflecting the correct information.”

    The policy attached was actually older than the one James originally saw, but she said she did not realize that at the time.

    She said Manafort signed a loan application in March, affirming there was no mortgage on the house.

    As part of the negotiations, James said Citizens Bank also got documentation from Manafort’s accountant saying a $1.5 million loan from Peranova Holdings Ltd. had been forgiven.

    That accountant, Cindy Laporta, has testified that she believed the loan forgiveness letter was fabricated.

    Defense attorney Jay Nanavati’s cross-examination of James had only just begun when Judge Ellis announced a 20-minute break. Nanavati said outside the presence of the jury that on cross-examination he plans to argue that when Manafort started negotiating with Citizens Bank for the Brooklyn loan, there was no mortgage on the 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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