December 17, 2018

Mueller Indicts Former Trump Campaign Manager Over Alleged Financial Crimes

Special Counsel Robert Mueller handed down a new indictment against President Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort and his business partner Rick Gates on multiple counts of tax and bank fraud.

The indictment alleges that from 2006-2015, Manafort and Gates avoided paying taxes on the money they earned from working on behalf of the Ukrainian government and Ukrainian political parties by concealing it as “loans”; the money was then used to refinance their mortgages, among other uses.

Additionally, the indictment claims that the pair funneled over $75 million from offshore bank accounts to directly purchase various goods without paying taxes on that money. Manafort and Gates also allegedly defrauded banks out of over $20 million in loans by overstating Manafort’s income and concealing debts they owed.

The indictment levies a total of 32 charges against Manafort and Gates; the initial indictments from October consisted of 12 charges.

Manafort is pleading not guilty. On Feb. 18, it was reported that Gates will eventually plead guilty and testify against Manafort.

The significance of all this is that the batch of charges could coerce Manafort into a plea deal where he testifies against members of the Trump campaign on any possible Russian collusion. The indictment itself does not mention anything related to any possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, which is what Mueller was appointed to investigate.

The full indictment can be read here.