recorderjournal.com

World

Real estate takes center stage in Manafort trial

Share
The Latest Gates admits crimes with Manafort embezzlement

Prosecutors are well into presenting hundreds of documents that they say show bank fraud, failure to disclose foreign bank accounts and tax crimes.

A former accountant whose firm prepared business and personal taxes for Manafort and his wife is scheduled to resume testimony on Friday. Raico is on the witness list for Manafort's trial and has been granted immunity from prosecution if he testifies, though he has not appeared yet.

Washkuhn's testimony also seemed to point toward Manafort's doctoring documents in an effort to inflate his income and to qualify for loans.

"I'm sure they're going to do belt and suspenders ... but it sounds like they've pretty much met the elements", a former federal attorney with experience prosecuting similar tax and fraud cases told Roll Call. It was an issue he paid close attention to since 2010 when the U.S. Treasury Department ramped up its enforcement of a law requiring U.S. disclosure by U.S. citizens of their overseas bank accounts, Ayliff said. "I take it you plan to offer evidence?" he asked.

When Asonye asked Laporta whether she believed Manafort was getting the $2.4 million in additional income, which he said would be deposited in November of that year, Laporta said she "had no idea". She also said Manafort told Banc of California that his company made almost $4.5 million when the actual amount was $400,000.

On September 16, 2015, the day after the tax return was filed, Gates emailed Laporta a Word document version of a loan agreement dated March 16, 2014 between Davis Manafort Partners International and a company called Telmar Limited.

She said she never sent a profit and loss statement because she never received documentation from Mr. Manafort. The Manafort legal team has been working to convince the jury that Gates is to blame rather than their client.

This photo provided by the Department of Justice was introduced into evidence by the government on Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2018, during the second day of the fraud trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort in federal court in Alexandria, Va., shows Manafort's $15,000 jacket made of ostrich.

An FBI agent on Wednesday described the July 2017 raid on Manafort's Virginia condominium, saying he knocked multiple times before entering with a key and finding Manafort inside. He did not make those accounts known to them, all the witnesses said.

In their opening statements, Manafort's defense attorneys argued Manafort was simply too busy to deal with his finances and entrusted Gates with that task.

"There normally wasn't a response, they just said it was a loan", Mr. Ayliff testified of the response he got from Mr. Manafort and Mr. Gates.

"To your knowledge, was the $900,000 loan from Telmar ever repaid?"

The prosecution picked up Friday right where it had left off on the bank fraud offensive.

By listing it as a rental property on his tax forms, Manafort saved thousands of dollars in taxes.

During this conference call, the idea was apparently established to increase a loan amount - and shift income into a loan - in order to reduce Mr. Manafort's income and thus reduce his income taxes. When pressed as to who "he" referred to, Laporta said, "Paul Manafort".

What we don't know: What is Manafort's end game?

The jury also heard from several money managers contracted to keep tabs on Manafort's cash flow.

The proceedings ended before Manafort attorney Kevin Downing could cross-examine her. "It's a lot, and Paul Manafort trusted that Rick Gates was keeping track of it".

Prosecutors have said they intend to complete their arguments as early as next week. "The fact that they only chose 23, those are probably the ones they think are most damaging". But that strategy was undercut a few times, as witnesses insisted Manafort was clearly in charge and aware of what they were doing.

In another email, this one from Manafort to Laporta, the defendant allegedly wrote, "see below for my answer" and "see answers below".

Share