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Manafort accountant admits to falsifying loan documents, tax returns

Manafort accountant admits to falsifying loan documents, tax returns

Jonah Green has more.

Prosecutors are giving more insight into how they built their case against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

Prosecutors showed so many photographs of his pricy threads that Judge T.S. Ellis III of the U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va. eventually scolded prosecutors.

Her testimony is important as prosecutors try to rebut defense arguments that Manafort can't be responsible for financial fraud because he left the details of his spending to others.

"In other words, Mueller could have indicted the leading edge, perhaps to convince Manafort to cooperate with him down the road", she said.

A former accountant testified how she helped falsify income and tax statements for Paul Manafort, U.S. President Donald Trump's ex-campaign chairman, as prosecutors further buttressed their tax and bank fraud case against him.

Manafort's attorneys have sought to pin any illegal conduct on longtime Manafort deputy, Rick Gates. "But Manafort might still offer a great deal of help for Mueller, for instance, discussing the history of financial back-and-forth between Trump and Russian Federation".

Gates said he repeatedly lied to hide the bank accounts and, at Manafort's direction, he would classify money that came in as either a loan or income to reduce Manafort's tax burden.

She said Mr Gates told her in a conference call the income level "was too high" and proposed reclassifying a portion of it as a loan.

Prosecutors have spent the first two days of the trial attempting to portray Manafort as a tax cheat and a liar who hid much of the $60 million he earned from political work in Ukraine by stashing it in undisclosed overseas accounts. Mueller's team said the witnesses refused to testify or would refuse to answer certain questions if not given the protection. She believed that Gates was trying to reduce the amount of taxes Manafort had to pay. When Manafort and his partners, including longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone, set up their consulting firm in the 1980s, their first client was none other than Donald Trump.

She clearly explained, for instance, why Mr. Gates asked - and she agreed - that she characterize $900,000 that had been previously reported as income as a loan to DMP International, which Mr. Manafort and his wife owned.

"Manafort's practice of paying his vendors directly with his offshore funds was created to hide the underlying income from his bookkeepers and return preparers, and ultimately the IRS", prosecutors wrote in a motion on Wednesday night, as they argued why talking about Manafort's spending was valid.

As late as August 2016 - the same month he resigned from the Trump campaign - Manafort was sending emails to Laporta asking her to alter a profit-and-loss statement for his company.

This trial, happening in Virginia, is only the first of two Manafort faces; he'll be tried later in D.C. on separate charges.

Prosecutors say that email exchange occurred around the time Manafort was using doctored documents to secure loans, including some papers that a witness previously testified inflated his income by about $4 million. Gates has been a key cooperator for special counsel Robert Mueller's team, after he cut a plea deal earlier this year.

Mueller was tasked with investigating allegations of collusion between Trump campaign associates and Russian Federation and matters that arise from the investigation.

Manafort pressed his tax accountant to mislead UBS Group AG about whether Manafort occupied or rented out his Trump Tower apartment in NY, the accountant testified.

Prosecutors say Manafort was flush with cash from his political consulting work for the pro-Russia leader of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, but when Yanukovych was ousted in 2014, that money dried up and Manafort needed loans to keep up his expensive lifestyle.

Washkuhn never recorded the existence of any foreign bank accounts for Manafort while she kept his books, she said.

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