Paul Manafort on Trial – Day 5

Jurors in the Paul Manafort fraud trial may have come away from the first week of testimony with a vivid impression of him as a man who spent vast sums on luxurious houses, landscaping, and clothes, and who gave lenders phony documents as he grew desperate for cash.

But prosecutors for Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who charged Manafort with bank and tax fraud, hadn’t provided much direct evidence through Friday to back their claims that he controlled the foreign shell companies that funded those purchases. Prosecutors accused Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, of failing to report those accounts on his tax returns or file required reports with the U.S. Treasury Department.

When testimony resumes next week, Manafort’s lawyers will get a chance to deliver on their promise to show that his former right-hand man, Rick Gates, was the true criminal. Gates pleaded guilty and is expected to be Mueller’s star witness. Jurors heard about Gates on Friday from Cynthia Laporta, an accountant who testified under an immunity grant.

She said she knew that Gates was using phony backdated loan documents to help his boss lower his taxes and borrow from banks as his financial strength eroded. Many of those machinations took place in 2016, when Manafort was Trump’s campaign manager. Laporta said she created a $900,000 loan that disguised income in that amount and helped Manafort save up to $500,000 in taxes.

“I had a couple of choices,’’ Laporta told jurors in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia. “I could have refused to file’’ the tax return, potentially exposing her accounting firm to the risk of litigation. Or, she could have called Manafort and Gates liars, she said. But “Mr. Manafort was a longtime client of the firm and I didn’t think I should do that either. I very much regret it.”

In several instances, Laporta said she put up little resistance to documents she admitted were phony and were intended to help Manafort lower his taxes or obtain loans. She could get battered on cross-examination, and she’s not alone. Prosecutors have said four other professionals who helped Manafort with his finances may testify with immunity grants.

But the trial’s highlight will be Gates’s testimony. He spent a decade with Manafort at his political consulting firm in Ukraine and followed him to the Trump campaign. Prosecutors said Manafort made $60 million as a political consultant in Ukraine from 2010 to 2014, and Gates helped him hide much of that income from the Internal Revenue Service through accounts in Cyprus and other tax havens.

In his opening statement, Manafort’s attorney Thomas Zehnle cast Gates as the true villain, a man who stole money and dealt with the accountants and bookkeepers while Manafort was plying his trade around the world.

About SouthernGirl2

A Native Texan who adores baby kittens, loves horses, rodeos, pomegranates, & collect Eagles. Enjoys politics, games shows, & dancing to all types of music. Loves discussing and learning about different cultures. A Phi Theta Kappa lifetime member with a passion for Social & Civil Justice.
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47 Responses to Paul Manafort on Trial – Day 5

  1. rikyrah says:

    Gates testifies in court to committing crimes with Paul Manafort

    Josh Gerstein, who covers the trial of Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman for Politico, reports on the latest developments from court, with testimony today from the prosecution’s star witness, former Manafort assistant and Trump transition team member Rick Gates.

    Like

  2. rikyrah says:

    Gates’ utility to Mueller extends far beyond Manafort case

    Barbara McQuade and Chuck Rosenberg, former U.S. attorneys, discuss the role Rick Gates played not only in Paul Manafort’s business, but as part of the Donald Trump campaign as well as serving on the Trump transition team, and what might be the broader legal implications of his cooperating with Robert Mueller.

    Like

  3. Like

  4. Rick Gates better be careful. These people are straight up ruthless thugs.

    Liked by 1 person

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  6. Ametia says:

    Remember Robert Mueller III has concrete EVIDENCE, and that is why Gates is SPILLING THAT DELICIOUS, HOT TEA.

    Like

  7. Liza says:

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ametia says:

    Rick Gates testifies that he lied for years at Paul Manafort’s request, and stole from him and others. Here’s our recap.

    On the witness stand, Gates detailed years of crimes, saying most of his wrongdoing was committed on behalf of his former boss while other crimes were for his own benefit, including the theft of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Gates also made clear he was testifying against Manafort in the hopes of receiving a lesser prison sentence, having pleaded guilty in February as part of a deal with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/rick-gates-says-he-lied-for-years-at-manaforts-request-and-stole-from-him-in-the-process/2018/08/06/898df9ce-99b0-11e8-8d5e-c6c594024954_story.html?utm_term=.6dd55bf68f20&wpisrc=al_news__alert-politics–alert-national&wpmk=1

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  9. rikyrah says:

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  11. rikyrah says:

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  15. Ametia says:

    #SPILL.ITGATES

    Liked by 1 person

  16. rikyrah says:

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  18. Ametia says:

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  19. Ametia says:

    Rick Gates on Monday took the stand in the federal fraud case against his former business partner, ex-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, testifying that he committed crimes while working for Manafort.

    “Were you involved in criminal activity when you worked for Paul Manafort?” federal prosecutor Greg Andres asked the witness.

    “Yes,” Gates replied.

    “Did you commit a crime?” Andres asked.

    “Yes,” Gates said.

    Gates, considered a star witness against Manafort, struck a plea deal with prosecutors to cooperate in the case against his former business partner. The usually bearded Gates appeared in court clean-shaven on Monday.

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/08/06/rick-gates-testifies-committed-crimes-while-working-for-paul-manafort.html

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    • Ametia says:

      No one cares about 45 raging over Mueller. If he is innocent, he can wait out the investigation, further more, he can sit for an interview.

      But that’s too much like common sense TRUTH.

      Liked by 1 person

  27. Liked by 1 person

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