Established by Fathi Ibrahim Bayoud 2005 - Homs

Gates, Manafort masked foreign income as loans

World | 2018-08-08 01:53:04
Gates, Manafort masked foreign income as loans
   Paul Manafort
Paul Manafort’s longtime deputy told jurors Tuesday how he spent years disguising millions of dollars in foreign income as loans to lower the former Trump campaign chairman’s tax bill. Rick Gates, the government’s star witness, recounted how he and Manafort used more than a dozen offshore shell companies and bank accounts in Cyprus to funnel the money while concealing the accounts and the income from the IRS.

“In Cyprus, they were documented as loans. In reality, it was basically money moving between accounts,” Gates said during his second day of testimony in the financial fraud trial of his former boss.

Prosecutors summoned Gates, described by witnesses as Manafort’s “right-hand man,” to give jurors the firsthand account of a co-conspirator they say helped Manafort carry out an elaborate offshore tax evasion and bank fraud scheme. Gates also provided the first witness testimony that overlaps with Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

Manafort’s defense attorneys have sought to paint Gates as an embezzler, a liar and the instigator of any criminal conduct.

Gates walked into a packed courtroom a day after he calmly acknowledged having embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars from Manafort and said the two had committed crimes together by stashing money in foreign bank accounts and falsifying bank loan documents.

Manafort and Gates were the first two people indicted in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into potential ties between Russia and the Trump campaign.

The case against Manafort has little to do with either man’s work for the Trump campaign and there’s been no discussion during the trial about whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia – the question Mueller’s team has tried to answer.

Tuesday Gates did connect one part of the bank fraud charges against Manafort to his role in the Trump campaign.

The 46-year-old former political consultant told jurors how Manafort asked for tickets to Trump’s inauguration so he could give them to a banker involved in approving a loan at the center of his financial fraud trial. Gates also said Manafort floated banker Stephen Calk’s name for consideration as secretary of the Army.

The email exchange about Calk occurred after Manafort left the Trump campaign but while Gates was active on the Trump inauguration committee. Prosecutors had previously said that Manafort’s interactions with Calk were the only part of the trial expected to overlap with his Trump campaign role.

Gates also laid responsibility squarely at Manafort’s feet for a series of crimes, as he described to jurors how he repeatedly submitted fake financial documents at Manafort’s behest as his former boss became concerned he was paying too much in taxes and, later, that his funds were drying up.
AP
Comments (0)

Post Your Comments

fill all fields below
*This confirmation code will prevent auto submit
X :Latest News
Israel holds dozens of Palestinians in overnight raids      Turkey: 9 killed, 47 injured in high-speed train crash      Palestinians offer new details on Israel’s botched Gaza raid      Migration crisis hits Americas, reaches US border in 2018      Four dead, 43 injured in Ankara train crash      US Senate advances vote on ending military support for Saudis in Yemen      Trump’s ex-lawyer Cohen sentenced to 3 years in hush-money scandal      US-backed forces recapture borderline from Daesh