Tuesday, 22 October, 2019

All eyes on 'right-hand man' in Manafort trial

Paul Manafort All eyes on 'right-hand man' in Manafort trial
Steven Clarke | 05 August, 2018, 02:03

A former accountant for former Trump campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortManafort bookkeeper: He approved "every penny" on personal bills Giuliani says Trump to make call on Mueller within 10 days: report Mueller agrees to some limits on Trump interview: report MORE testified Friday that she helped falsify tax records on his behalf in order to misrepresent $900,000 in personal income as a business loan.

One member of the jury nodded in apparent agreement when US District Judge TS Ellis cut off the prosecution's questioning to ask her if she was afraid of being prosecuted herself. For starters, Foer notes that the premise of Manafort's defense - that his subordinate Rick Gates operated outside of Manafort's knowledge and is responsible for any financial misreporting that may have occurred - doesn't square with the Manafort revealed by Foer's past reporting: a micro-manager, closely immersed in the details, whose business at the relevant time had shrunk down to a two-person operation. How did this man get landed with over a dozen federal indictments? Cindy Laporta, who testified under an immunity deal with the government, acknowledged that she agreed under pressure from Gates to alter a tax document for one of Manafort's businesses. Prosecutors are well into presenting hundreds of documents that they say show bank fraud, failure to disclose foreign bank accounts and tax crimes.

He said Weissmann was a staunch supporter of Hillary Clinton and was also in attendance at what was supposed to be her election night victory party at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City.

Cynthia LaPorta, who oversaw the preparations of some of Manafort's business and personal tax returns, testified that she filed returns in 2014 despite her complete lack of confidence in her client's support for more than $2 million in reported loans.

Laporta's testimony built on that of another of Manafort's accountants, Philip Ayliff, who told jurors that Manafort denied on multiple occasions that he controlled foreign bank accounts when asked.

They have also accused Mr. Manafort of disguising income drawn from these accounts as loans to avoid paying taxes on it.

A conviction would give momentum to Mueller's probe, in which 32 people and three companies have been indicted or pleaded guilty. Mr Trump, angered by any questions about the legitimacy of his election win, has called Mr Mueller's investigation a witch hunt and wants it to be shut down.

NASA selects 9 astronauts for first crewed Boeing, SpaceX missions
She has logged 322 days in space. (BA) to the punch when it comes to flying astronauts to the International Space Station. What makes the mission stand out even more is the fact that Ferguson is retired from NASA and now works for Boeing .

"You can't pick and choose what's a loan and what's income", she said. Prosecutors say Manafort's bank fraud began after political consulting work in Ukraine - which had paid him more than $60 million from 2010 to 2014 - dried up.

Washkuhn also testified about false financial statements sent to Federal Savings Bank in Chicago, whose founder is Stephen Calk.

The foreign entities, prosecutors have suggested, were all shell, or pass-through, companies, set up by Manafort to handle the income he was earning from his Ukraine work. Gates is the prosecution's star witness and is expected to testify against Manafort early next week.

"We have absolutely put him on the witness list", prosecutor Greg Andres said before the jury entered the courtroom this morning.

One of Manafort's defense lawyers sent prosecutors a statement after their client was indicted, creating a document that could destroy the defense's case. When she asked for documentation of the transaction, she testified, Gates gave her an unsigned letter, just over a page long, with nearly no details.

Laporta testified that they all ultimately chose to decrease the loan amount by $900,000 on Manafort's 2014 tax returns before submitting his 2015 one so that Manafort could afford to pay his bills.

The testimony about Manafort's financial problems came after a string of witnesses walked jurors through the millions of dollars he spent on a karaoke machine, landscaping, home improvement and what a landscaper described as one of the biggest ponds in the Hamptons.

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