Manafort prosecutors expect to rest case Friday
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) – The Latest on Paul Manafort’s trial: Prosecutors in Paul Manafort’s financial fraud trial say they have eight witnesses left and expect to rest their case Friday.
Greg Andres, an attorney with special counsel Robert Mueller’s office, says the prosecution is running ahead of schedule.
So far, 18 witnesses have testified in the former Trump campaign chairman’s trial. That includes longtime Manafort deputy Rick Gates, who testified against his former boss.
U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III has been pushing prosecutors to hurry through their case. Manafort’s defense team will have a chance to offer witnesses and other evidence after the government finishes.
An IRS agent says Paul Manafort didn’t report at least $16 million in income on his taxes.
Agent Michael Welch says that was the total the former Trump campaign chairman left off his tax returns between 2010 and 2014.
Welch is a 34-year IRS veteran and worked on more than 500 criminal investigations. He is testifying as an expert witness in Manafort’s financial fraud trial.
Welch also says Manafort should have reported multiple foreign bank accounts to the IRS in those years.
The testimony bolsters the prosecution’s tax-evasion case against Manafort. He is also charged with bank fraud.
An FBI forensic accountant is telling the jury in Paul Manafort’s financial fraud trial how she traced millions of dollars of payments for mortgages, home improvements and expensive cars, rugs and clothes back to his hidden foreign bank accounts.
Morgan Magionos used her own charts along with financial and tax records and emails to buttress the government’s detailed accounting of how the former Trump campaign chairman bankrolled an extravagant lifestyle without reporting hidden millions to the government.
Magionos said foreign bank documents and emails showed that Manafort repeatedly drew from bank accounts in Cyprus, the Grenadines and the United Kingdom to pay for expenditures in the U.S.
In one case, Magionos traced how foreign accounts were used by Manafort to pay for more than $3.5 million in home improvements.
Paul Manafort hid more than 30 offshore accounts in three types of currencies from the IRS.
That’s according to an FBI forensic accountant testifying in the former Trump campaign chairman’s trial.
Morgan Magionos told jurors Wednesday that bank records from Cyprus, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the United Kingdom revealed the accounts were connected to Manafort and his associates.
She says Manafort’s passport was used to open many of them in U.S. dollars, euros and British pounds.
A man prosecutors say has ties to Russian intelligence was also among the beneficial owners of some of the companies. The man, Konstantin Kilimnik, is charged along with Manafort with witness tampering in a separate case.
Rick Gates, the government’s star witness, was also listed as an owner of several of the accounts.
The judge in Paul Manafort’s financial fraud trial is joking about his efforts to speed up the prosecution’s presentation of its case.
U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III says that judges should be patient but “they made a mistake” when the Senate confirmed him to the bench.
Ellis encouraged both the prosecution and the defense to not try his patience with unnecessary objections or other delays.
He made the comment after he haggled with the attorneys for 20 minutes over the number and type of charts prosecutors could present during the testimony of an FBI forensic accountant.
Ellis has repeatedly pushed prosecutors to whittle down their case to save time.
He’s also had several heated exchanges with the attorneys from special counsel Robert Mueller’s office.
Rick Gates has finished his testimony in the financial fraud trial of his former boss, Paul Manafort, after one last effort by defense lawyers to erode his credibility.
Manafort defense attorney Kevin Downing tried to confront Gates over whether he had engaged in four extra-marital affairs and failed to disclose them to prosecutors before becoming a witness for the government. Gates had testified earlier in the trial about one extra-marital affair.
But after a lengthy conference between lawyers before U.S. District Judge T. S. Ellis III, Downing asked Gates only about the time span of his “secret life.”
Gates replied that “I made many mistakes over many years” before stepping down from the witness stand.
Paul Manafort was concerned after a 2014 FBI interview that one of the companies used to pay the former Trump campaign chairman for his Ukrainian political consulting work wasn’t “clean.”
That’s what longtime Manafort deputy Rick Gates told jurors on his third day of testimony in his former boss’s financial fraud trial.
Gates says that Manafort asked him to meet with one of the Ukrainian businessmen involved in paying him millions of dollars to find out if one of the shell companies used to pay him was a “clean entity.”
Gates says Manafort also wanted to give the businessman a heads up about the FBI’s interest in the offshore accounts as part of the U.S. government’s efforts to recover assets stolen under former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.
The star witness in Paul Manafort’s financial fraud trial says the former Trump campaign chairman told him to be truthful about offshore shell companies and bank accounts during a 2014 interview with the FBI.
Rick Gates says that he told FBI agents and Justice Department lawyers about some of the offshore companies that contained millions of dollars in proceeds from their Ukrainian political work.
Gates made the statement under cross examination by Manafort attorney Kevin Downing.
The interview related to an FBI investigation that sought to recover assets looted from the Ukrainian government under the rule of former President Viktor Yanukovych.
Prosecutors have noted that Gates and Manafort were not the targets of the investigation at the time of the interview.
The questioning of Paul Manafort’s protege during the political consultant’s financial fraud trial has turned confrontational and personal, focusing on Rick Gates’ own crimes as well as an extramarital affair and a plea agreement.
Gates faces more bruising cross-examination on Wednesday in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia. Manafort is accused of overseeing an elaborate offshore tax-evasion and bank fraud scheme, and Gates has offered a first-hand account of its workings.
In testimony Tuesday, Gates acknowledged embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from Manafort and carrying on an extramarital affair.
A Manafort lawyer has accused the government’s star witness of being immersed in “so many lies” that he can’t even remember them all.
Manafort was chairman of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, and his longtime deputy was part of the campaign, too.
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