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Longtime Manafort deputy Rick Gates admits embezzlement

Longtime Manafort deputy Rick Gates admits embezzlement

It seems clear that the Mueller team is interested in inducing first Gates, then Manafort, to hand them whatever damaging information they might have to offer on Trump. Both sides have agreed to limit discussion of the campaign to avoid prejudicing the jury, though they did permit testimony about the overlap of a bank loan with Manafort's role in the Trump election effort.

Gates admitted that at Manafort's behest, they later created a loan agreement for Lyovochkin's payment, though no loan existed.

Gates, who was a senior Trump aide and Manafort's deputy, has already admitted two felony charges (financial fraud and lying to investigators).

He said that Manafort knew it was illegal not to report his foreign bank accounts to the Treasury Department but asked Gates to help him deceive his accountants so he could hide income and pay less in taxes. The prosecution has tried to demonstrate Gates' credibility as a witness, which Manafort's attorneys have been attacking.

"We did not submit the required form designating he had control over an offshore account", Gates told the jury in federal court in Alexandria, Va., on the fifth day of the trial.

Throughout the trial, they have tried to pin the blame for financial misdeeds on Gates, whom they also have accused of embezzling millions from Manafort's consulting firm.

Manafort's defence attorneys have sought to paint Gates as an embezzler, liar and the instigator of any criminal conduct. The charges largely predate his five months on the Trump campaign.

After Gates struggled to recall precisely what he had told Mueller's team, Downing asked if he had been confronted with "so many lies" that he can't keep his story straight.




Originally charged as a co-conspirator, he acknowledged in court on Monday he was co-operating with the prosecution in the hope of leniency. In return he could receive a lower sentence.

Gates has been described by witnesses as Manafort's right-hand man who helped run the operations of a multimillion-dollar political consulting business. His case is the first to go to trial arising from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 USA election.

Gates said an associate, Konstantin Klimnik, had control over the overseas accounts. They aimed to show jurors how that money flowed from more than a dozen shell companies used to stash the income in Cyprus.

Ms Laporta, looking at a summary of loans to Mr Manafort and his businesses, said she could not see any indication the loan from Mr Deripaska had been paid off. But Trump has shown interest in the proceedings, tweeting support for Manafort and suggesting that he had been treated worse than gangster Al Capone.

Andres will continue questioning Gates for roughly an hour Tuesday before the defense gets a chance to cross-examine him.

After nearly 5 hours of friendly questioning by the prosecution, Manafort's defense team took over and began picking apart his testimony and credibility, and Gates closed the sixth day of testimony admitting he embezzled money from Manafort, in part to cover costs of a London love nest.

Under cross examination, she said at the time she believed Manafort was directing Gates' actions and "knew what was going on".

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