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Manafort pleads not guilty to fraud charges

Manafort pleads not guilty to fraud charges

President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort pleaded not guilty on Thursday to additional criminal charges ranging from bank fraud to filing false tax returns. The judge in that case set Manafort's trial to begin on September 17.

The Virginia indictment accused Manafort and his business associate, Rick Gates, of lying to banks about their business income in order to secure more than $20 million in loans.

In the DC charges alone, Manafort faces a likely sentence of more than 15 years to nearly 20 years in prison if found guilty.

Both indictments accuse Manafort of hiding the work he did for and the money he made from a Russia-friendly political party in Ukraine and former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych.

Manafort had been set to appear in Virginia this past Friday, but that hearing was delayed because of a severe windstorm in the D.C. area that closed government buildings.

Mr. Manafort has been indicted twice on separate charges in Washington, D.C. He has pleaded not guilty to those charges as well.

In May 2017, Mueller was appointed to investigate Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Gates and Manafort were both charged with multiple counts of conspiracy, tax fraud and money laundering stemming from lobbying and consulting work related to Ukrainian politicians who are strong allies of Russian Federation.

Trump has denied that his campaign colluded with Russian Federation.

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort arrives at the Albert V. Bryan U.S. Courthouse for an arraignment hearing on March 8, 2018, in Alexandria, Va.

If convicted of bank fraud in Virginia, Manafort faces up to 270 years in prison, but prosecutors say federal sentencing guidelines call for much less time: four to five years.

The judge urged prosecutors to add a lawyer to their team experienced in practicing in the Eastern District of Virginia federal court where the Alexandria, Virginia, courthouse is located.

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