Friday, 17 August, 2018

Drama grips court as Manafort lawyers accuse Rick Gates of multiple affairs

This courtroom sketch depicts Rick Gates right testifying during questioning in the bank fraud and tax evasion trial of Paul Manafort at federal court in Alexandria Va. on Tuesday. U.S. district Judge T.S. Ellis III presides at top right Rick Gates says he and Manafort disguised foreign income as loans
Faye Gross | 10 August, 2018, 03:16

Former President Donald Trump's aide Rick Gates returned to the court Wednesday to testify against his former boss, Paul Manafort, in special counsel Robert Mueller's federal tax trial against the former Trump campaign chairman.

Mr Gates, the prosecution's star witness, recounted how he and Mr Manafort used offshore shell companies and bank accounts in Cyprus to funnel the money, all while failing to declare the income to the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Gates testified that he sent other falsified documents at Manafort's request, and Laporta said she made false representations to banks after conversations with Manafort and Gates.

The grand total of Manafort's payments from his offshore accounts to vendors and for properties came out to $15.5 million over the course of 2010-2014, according to Magionos.

Manafort has pleaded not guilty to 18 counts of bank fraud, tax fraud and failing to disclose foreign bank accounts.

Testimony resumes Thursday at 9:30 a.m. ET in Alexandria, Virginia, and the government is expected to rest by Friday. But prosecutors dropped charges against Gates after the former business partner took a plea deal and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors.

Day seven of the Paul Manafort trial took a technical turn Wednesday, an indication that prosecutors could be wrapping up their case against the former Trump campaign chairman. "I'm not sure why, but there have been certain exchanges at sidebar that have seemed not all that judicious to me", he said.

Manafort's defense team says it was actually Gates who committed the financial crimes, without Manafort knowing, and Manafort's lawyers also have sought to exploit the guilty plea that Gates has accepted after he was indicted on related charges. But Gates nonetheless faced aggressive questioning by Manafort's lawyer, Kevin Downing, who at one point asked him, "After all the lies you've told and the fraud you've committed, you expect this jury to believe you?" "In reality, it was basically money moving between accounts".

Manafort and Gates were the first two people indicted in Mueller's investigation into potential ties between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign. "I'm taking responsibility for it".

Before the final bang - or was it a whimper? - prosecutors had their own opportunity Wednesday morning to revisit with Gates exactly what he had done by way of financial crimes, and the steep, lifelong outcome of prison time he could face if he told the jury inaccuracies about Manafort.

Rick Gates says he and Manafort disguised foreign income as loans
Drama grips court as Manafort lawyers accuse Rick Gates of multiple affairs

"I would be surprised, given what's occurred in the Manafort trial, if Judge Ellis didn't issue this relatively standard instruction", Abramson said.

Gates testified that Manafort asked him to float Calk, who was on Trump's economic advisory council, for Secretary of the Army.

But the grilling got more intense, and personal, Tuesday afternoon when Downing pressed Gates about a "secret life" he said was funded by embezzlement, including an extramarital affair that Gates himself acknowledged.

Mr Gates testified he and Mr Manafort knew they were committing crimes for years, saying they had stashed money in foreign bank accounts and falsified bank loan documents.

In all, the pair of authoritative money trackers explained just how large Manafort's alleged foreign bank-account scheme was and how much he's accused of siphoning secretly into luxe purchases.

You told me you were on top of this.

For this Manafort was paid US$4million a year, in quarterly payments of US$1million, Gates recalled, though at some point the currency switched from U.S. dollars to Euros.

"In Cyprus, they were documented as loans". Prosecutors allege that he failed to pay taxes on millions he made from his work for a Russia-friendly Ukrainian political party, then lied to get loans when the cash stopped coming in.

Adam Pally, Neal McDonough Join Cast of Sonic the Hedgehog
However, now we know who will be voicing the blue speedster: Parks and Recreation's Ben Schwartz . The film is now scheduled to hit theaters on November 15, 2019 , so stay tuned for more .


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