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Tag: paul manafort

Manafort to Kusher: Trump ‘Should’ Hire Banker Who Approved Suspicious $16M Loan

Ex-Trump campaign leader Paul Manafort.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort emailed the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner weeks after the 2016 election in an attempt to secure a top job for a Chicago banker who is at the center of Manafort’s fraud trial.

Manafort wrote that Stephen Calk, chief executive officer of the Federal Savings Bank, “should be part of the Trump Administration” and that Calk’s “preference” was to be secretary of the Army.

Kushner, who played an integral role during the transition, responded in no time.

“On it!” Kushner responded to the Nov. 30, 2016 email.

Read the email here.

Calk approved $16 million in loans to Manafort, even though the bank was warned earlier that Manafort had falsely overstated his finances. 

Calk was active supporter of campaign since April,” Manafort wrote in the email. “HE served on the National Economic Policy Advisory Committee for Trump campaign and has made over 40 television interviews during the course of the General Election. His background is strong in defense issues, management and finance. His preference is Secretary of the Army.”

Manafort listed “alternative positions” for Calk: Undersecretary of the Treasury for Domestic Finance, Undersecretary of the Treasury for International Affairs and Deputy Secretary of Commerce.

Calk never got the job.

A week after the election, Calk pitched himself for the job in a memo entitled,  “Qualification Memorandum on Behalf of Stephen M. Calk Articulating His Qualifications to Serve as the 22nd Secretary of the Army.”

“Mr. Calk willingly risked his national professional and personal reputation as an active, vocal, early supporter of President-Elect Trump,” Calk wrote in the memo.

Prosecutors rested their case this week against Manafort, who could spend the rest of his life in prison if he’s found guilty of numerous bank and tax fraud charges.

Jury May Decide Fate of Manafort This Week Before He Faces Another Trial

Paul Manafort

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

A verdict in the bank and tax fraud case against Paul Manafort could come as early as this week, and a guilty verdict could has the potential of putting President Trump’s former campaign chairman in prison for the rest of his life.

Robert Mueller’s prosecutors are expected to wrap up their case today, depending on what the defense does, the case could go to the jury by midweek.

A lot is at stake in the first trial since Mueller was appointed in May 2017 to investigate Russia’s meddling in the election. A victory could restore faith in the investigation, while a defeat could give Trump more ammunition to claim the probe is part of a “witch hunt,” a far-fetched claim that nonetheless has gained traction among many Republicans.

Monday marks the 10th day in Alexandria, Va., federal court.

When the trial resumes Monday afternoon, prosecutes are expected to call to the stand James Brennan, an executive at the Federal Savings Bank.

What’s unclear is whether Manafort’s lawyers plan to call their own witnesses.

Whatever the case, not even an acquittal ends the legal troubles of Manafort, a longtime GOP operative accused of concealing millions of dollars he made from Russian-friendly Ukrainian officials by depositing the money into foreign bank accounts to avoid taxes.

A second Manafort trial is scheduled for mid-September in Washington D.C., a case that alleges Manafort laundered money and failed to register as a lobbyist while working for the Ukrainian government.

Gates Told Feds about Manafort’s Foreign Bank Accounts Long Before Mueller’s Probe

Former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates with Trump.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Before longtime business partners Paul Manafort and Rick Gates began running Donald Trump’s campaign for president, Gates revealed to the FBI that their consulting firm had foreign bank accounts.

The disclosure by Gates, made public during the Manafort trial this week, is a big deal because the foreign bank accounts became the impetus for investigating and eventually charging the pair with bank and tax fraud.

Gates told the jury that federal law enforcement in was investigating money the pair made working for Russian-friendly Ukrainian officials. He said Manafort told him to be truthful before Gates made the disclosure in 2014.

At the time, federal authorities didn’t have enough evidence to force the pair to disclose their financial records, which eventually were obtained by special counsel Robert Mueller’s team and used as key evidence in charging both men.

Earlier this year, Gates struck a plea deal with prosecutors to cooperate with them as they took their case to trial. The government is expected to rest its case in the Manafort trial by Friday.

Prosecutors allege millions of dollars were deposited into the accounts so Manafort wouldn’t be taxed on money he was making from consulting work in Ukraine.

A Lot At Stake As Prosecutors Plan to End Fraud Case Against Manafort

Paul Manafort

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

A lot is at stake in the Paul Manafort trial that began last week.

A victory for special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russian meddling during the election, would give him more credibility as president Trump tries to chip away at his reputation and intentions.

A loss for Mueller would give Trump more ammunition in his quest to convince the public that the investigation is a “witch hunt.”

By Friday, Mueller’s prosecutors are expected to wrap up their case against Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman who is accused of bank and tax fraud.

Prosecutor Greg Andres told U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III that the government will rest its case after calling about eight more witnesses to the stand, which is expected to happen by the end of the week.

Once the prosecution rests its case, Manafort’s lawyers will make their case that the Republican consultant did nothing wrong. It’s unclear how long the defense plans to take during the trial, which entered its second week on Monday.

Michael Cohen Under Investigation for Potential Tax- And Bank-Fraud

Longtime Trump attorney Michael Cohen.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Federal prosecutors aren’t just investigating Michael Cohen over his working and personal relationship with President Trump.

Trump’s former lawyer also is facing scrutiny over potential tax fraud from his taxi-medallion business, the Wall Street Journal reports

Prosecutors in New York are trying to determine whether the company underreported federal tax returns over the past five years and whether Cohen obtained loans by inflating the values of his assets.

Bank employees also are under investigation for possibly allowing Cohen to obtain the loans for he which didn’t qualify or didn’t have the proper paperwork.

If charged with tax- and bank-fraud, Cohen could face a signifiant time behind bars, which has the potential to scare the lawyer into cooperating with prosecutors.

The charges would be similar to those filed against Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who’s on trial now.

Gates Testifies He Helped Manafort Violate Bank, Tax Fraud

Former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates with Trump.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Paul Gates, a former campaign aide to President Trump, testified Monday that he helped his former business partner, Paul Manafort, commit bank and tax fraud.

At Manafort’s tax and bank fraud trial, Gates said he helped Manafort file false tax returns to conceal millions of dollars kept in foreign bank accounts.

Gates was testifying as part of a plea deal with special prosecutors, providing strong evidence against Manafort, the former chairman of Trump’s campaign.

If convicted, Manafort could spend the rest of his life behind bars on 18 counts of tax fraud and banking crimes.

Gates also testified that he embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars from Manafort.

During his testimony, Gates told prosecutors he helped Manafort violate the law by falsifying and doctoring documents and concealing tens of millions of dollars in foreign banks to avoid pay taxes on the income.

Today, Gates is expected to face tough questions from defense attorneys who have been trying to chip away at his credibility.

Manafort’s Longtime Business Partner, Gates, Expected to Testify Against Manafort at Trial This Week

Former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates with Trump.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Paul Manafort’s former longtime business partner, Rick Gates, is expected to testify against his old buddy this week in a criminal trial that could land the former Trump campaign chairman in prison for the rest of his life.

Rick Gates, who also served as an aide in Trump’s campaign, struck a plea deal with special counsel prosecutors to testify against Manafort, who is charged with 18 counts of tax fraud and banking crimes.

Gates is a vital witness for federal prosecutors’ case that alleges Manafort hid millions of dollars in secret, off-short bank accounts from profits he made working with a Russia-friendly Ukrainian political party. When he stopped working as a consultant for Ukrainian officials, Manafort lied to banks about his income to obtain loans to finance his “extravagant lifestyle,” prosecutors allege.

The trial resumes today and will be the second week of testimony for special counsel Robert Mueller’s team.

Gates told prosecutors he has firsthand knowledge of the crimes.

The defense plans to paint Gates as en embezzler willing to bend the truth because of the leniency he received in the plea bargain.

Prosecutors: How Manafort Evaded Taxes, Falsified Records to Finance ‘Extravagant Lifestyle’

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Special counsel prosecutors on Friday shifted from Paul Manafort’s “extravagant lifestyle” to how he allegedly evaded taxes and falsified his bookkeeping to obtain loans used to finance his expensive tastes for clothes and real estate.

Manafort, who served as Trump’s campaign chairman during the election, is accused of hiding millions of dollars in secret, off-short bank accounts from profits he made working with a Russia-friendly Ukrainian political party, the Washington Post reports

Manafort is charged with 18 counts of tax fraud, banking crimes and conspiracy.

Friday was the fourth day of the criminal trial in Alexandria, Va.

In testimony early Friday, prosecutors sought to show how Manafort lied about the existence of off-shore accounts.

Tax preparer Philip Ayliff testified that Manafort claimed numerous times that he had no foreign bank accounts.

In an email from Ayliff to Manafort, the tax preparer asked Manafort if he had any interested in a foreign bank account, and Manafort responded that he didn’t.

“They never told us about any income that was deposited in foreign accounts,” he said.

If convicted, the 69-year-old Manafort could spend the rest of his life in prison.

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