Looks like Manafort and Gates are going under the bus for “money laundering” and tax reporting failures.
Near as I can tell, about a decade back, Manafort did some “Political Consulting” for some Ukrainians (not Russians) and the money from that was stuck into an offshore company. That company put the money into a Cyprus bank (wonder if he got burned when the EU did the Cyprus banking take down?). Then it gets more murky.
Various folks reporting various somewhat different story lines. My pieced together (and likely wrong) summary would be that by using a few other offshore companies / banks, the money was shuffled around and then at some point a “loan” was made by one of them to Manafort. There was also a statement of some (unclear what kind) of “payments” being made via wire transfer from an offshore bank account to pay for various “lavish” things for Manafort (implied property buys and / or big expense items).
The assertion seems to be that this all ought to have been reported as income, not loans, and that Manafort ought to have reported it all on his tax returns and / or declared he had foreign bank accounts or was a principle (owner?) of the offshore “shell” companies.
So the real question is did he have valid legal and tax advice on how to structure these entities and money flows and this is a witch hunt (indict the “ham sandwich” and get him to talk dirt on Trump); or was Manafort doing something that looks questionable at best and is, in fact, illegal money laundering and tax evasion.
As one example story:
Ex-Trump campaign manager Manafort indicted on conspiracy, other charges
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Paul Manafort, a former campaign manager for President Donald Trump, was indicted on charges of money laundering and conspiracy against the United States, the most serious step yet in a special counsel investigation into Russian links with Trump’s 2016 White House campaign.
Manafort, 68, a longtime Republican operative, arrived at the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Washington field office on Monday morning to hand himself in after being indicted by a federal grand jury.
Manafort associate Rick Gates was also indicted. He was also due to surrender, the New York Times reported.
The 12-count indictment was the first from the investigation by Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller into alleged Russian meddling in last year’s campaign to try to tilt the vote in Trump’s favor.
Lawyers for Gates and Manafort did not immediately return calls for comment.
The Russia investigations by Mueller and by several congressional panels have cast a shadow over the Republican’s nine-month-old presidency and have widened the rift between Republicans and Democrats.
Manafort ran the Trump campaign from June to August of 2016 before resigning amid reports he might have received millions in illegal payments from a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine.
It was not immediately clear if the charges, some of which go back at least a decade, related to Manafort’s work as campaign manager. Neither Trump nor his campaign were mentioned in the indictment.
The indictment contains counts of conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, acting as unregistered agents of Ukraine’s government, false and misleading statements and failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts, the federal special counsel said.
The charge of conspiracy to commit money laundering carries a maximum 20-year prison sentence.
Mueller has been investigating Manafort’s financial and real estate dealings and his prior work for that political group, the Party of Regions, which backed former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich.
A federal grand jury issued the indictment on Friday and a federal judge ordered it sealed, a source briefed on the matter told Reuters.
Gates was a long-time business partner of Manafort and has ties to many of the same Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs. He also served as deputy to Manafort during his brief tenure as Trump’s campaign chairman.
Manafort was indicted on nine counts and Gates was indicted on eight counts.
So since when is Ukraine Russia?
This is long before Trump was even running for anything, so it’s related to the campaign how again?
Looks to me like a question for accountants and tax auditors more than special prosecutors and criminal charges. Then again, I’m not a political
So IF Manafort did the tax structure / paperwork wrong, he might be in the wringer. Nothing to do with Trump. Not coming from Russia. After months and months and $Millions, this is what they got? Wealthy people structuring their income via corporations to avoid taxes? With that as the Standard, Soros and the Clintons ought to be in prison for life terms…