Manafort Trial Turns to Tax Returns Mueller Says Are Phony

The prosecution has pressed that Manafort made false financial representations in order to obtain loans from banks.


Rick Gates, a longtime associate of one-time Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, provided an inflated income figure to a Banc of California executive as part of Manafort’s efforts to get a loan, a bookkeeper testified at trial on Thursday.

Prosecutors are giving more insight into how they built their case against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. In one instance Manafort’s signature was on a loan agreement created in 2015 and inappropriately backdated for the 2014 tax year, she said.

Heather Washkuhn, manager of Paul Manafort’s personal and business finances, walks toward District Court in Alexandria, Virginia. Ayliff testified Thursday that although Manafort was provided an outlet to disclose foreign bank accounts, he did not do so. Though the charges concern the work he did in Ukraine for Yanukovych, they don’t directly deal with Russia, nor with questions of Trump officials’ dealings with Russian officials.

She also testified that she knew her tax firm had fudged a loan amount so a then-broke Manafort could save up to a half-million dollars in taxes.

But Manafort then sent the same person at the bank, Dennis Raico, a financial statement for the first nine months of the year that said his company made $3 million.

Senator Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, said after Mr Trump’s tweet: “It is clear to me he is very anxious about it and he wants to prevent it any way he can”. “Let’s move on, enough is enough”, Ellis said during the trial. She said Gates told her he was handling the documentation even though he knew the loans were phony.

It is clear to me he is very anxious about it and he wants to prevent it any way he can.

“Rick Gates is a double-edged sword”, said Mintz. “Why can’t you send me the email version generated by your system?” Washkuhn testified that she couldn’t make the change.

Shanlon Wu, a former attorney for Gates before he pleaded guilty in February and starting cooperating with Mueller, said Monday would be a critical test of the defense’s strategy of pinning the wrongdoing on Gates.

A group of witnesses testified about Manafort’s lavish lifestyle.

Ellis pushed back on prosecutors, reminding them it’s not a crime to be rich in America. In fact, she said, the firm had a net loss of $1,116,497.

Investigators, however, say the pair not only made millions, they hid much of that money in foreign bank accounts, and did not report those accounts to the IRS. She said she would have documented them for tax purposes if he had. They believed the overseas entities that were dumping money into Manafort’s domestic accounts were third-party clients, not slush funds controlled by the former Trump aide. Manafort claims that Gates embezzled millions of dollars from his political consulting business. She communicated with Manafort weekly or biweekly. “I very much regret it”, she told the courtroom. “He was very detail-oriented”.

“He approved every penny of everything we paid”, Washkuhn testified.

President Donald Trump appealed to Attorney-General Jeff Sessions to end an investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 election, drawing a rebuke from his fellow Republicans in Congress who said the probe must go on. Mr. Manafort’s lawyers are hoping to show that Mr. Gates is the real culprit and that Mr. Manafort is guilty of no more than negligence for not paying greater attention to Mr. Gates and other employees.

Zehnle suggested that inaccuracies in financial statements were the result of accountants always being in a rush.

Later, the bank said there was an issue with Manafort’s finances.


Many a government attorney has lost a corporate financial case or had a mistrial because evidence became too dense, boring or confusing for the jury to follow.

Bookkeeper says Manafort firm gave inflated income figure in loan bid