Special counsel brings new charges against Manafort, Gates

Javier Stokes
February 23, 2018

Special counsel Robert Mueller indicted former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort for a second time Thursday, charging the one-time presidential insider with money laundering and failing to register as a foreign agent for his work relating to the Ukrainian government.

It also said: "Manafort and Gates hid the existence and ownership of the foreign companies and bank accounts, falsely and repeatedly reporting to their tax preparers and to the United States that they had no foreign bank accounts".

Mueller is tasked with investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 election and the possibility that associates of President Trump colluded with the Kremlin.

In the 37-page indictment, prosecutors describe a "scheme" in which the two longtime business partners allegedly laundered $30 million, failed to pay taxes for nearly 10 years and used real estate they owned to fraudulently secure more than $20 million in loans.

In its court filing Thursday, the special counsel's office said it brought the new charges before the grand jury in the Eastern District of Virginia because "our current evidence venue for these charges does not exist in the district of Columbia". In September 2012, he also provided Gates with talking points for use in a public relations campaign.

According to NBC News, President Donal Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort received $16 million in home loans from Chicago-based Federal Savings Bank.

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A spokesman for Manafort did not immediately comment on the new charges, and Thomas Green, a lawyer whom Gates just retained, could not be immediately reached.

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former campaign foreign policy aide George Papadopoulos have both pleaded guilty to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about their contacts with Russians. There had been speculation that Gates was going to plead guilty in that case. With mounting legal expenses and the potential for lengthy prison sentences, Manafort and Gates might reconsider cutting a deal with Mueller's team.

Both were charged in October with conspiracy to launder money.

There is now little known about the nature of the new filing.

The additional charges involve much of the same conduct Manafort and Gates were charged with previous year in an indictment in Washington.

On Tuesday, van der Zwaan, a Dutch citizen who authorities say lives in London, admitted to lying to federal investigators while they questioned him about the production of a report that Manafort and Gates are accused of secretly funding by funneling $4 million through an offshore account.

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