President Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, and former business partner surrendered to federal authorities Monday, facing a 12-count indictment as part of special prosecutor Robert Mueller’s probe into the Trump-Russia collusion during the 2016 presidential election.
According to reports, Manafort and Rick Gates were charged with conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, unregistered agent of a foreign principal, false and misleading FARA statements, and seven counts of failure to file reports of foreign bank and official records, according to the federal indictment, referring to the Foreign Agent Registration Act.
Both were indicted by a federal grand jury Friday, and the charges were unsealed after they turned themselves in Monday morning.
Trump hired Manafort to run his campaign in May 2016, but was fired three months later when reports surfaced questioning his ties with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who has close ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
According to reports, the indictment says Manafort and Gates served as “unregistered agents” for Ukraine and the Party of Regions, a political party run by Yanukovych.
They “generated tens of millions of dollars in income as a result of their Ukraine work” and hid the payments from US authorities, according to the indictment.
Furthermore, Manafort and Gates laundered $75 million through “scores of United States and foreign corporations, partnerships and bank accounts,” from 2006 through 2016.
The 31-page indictment does not mention Trump or the 2016 election.
Federal investigators say Manafort laundered more than $18 million and “used his hidden overseas wealth to enjoy a lavish lifestyle in the United States, without paying taxes on that income”:
- Manafort purchased three properties in 2012 including a $2.8 million condominium on Howard Street in Soho, used as an Airbnb rental, a $3 million brownstone on Union Street in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, and a home in Virginia.
- Gates is accused of wiring $3 million to personal accounts from offshore accounts.
- According to court documents, Gates is described as Manafort’s “right-hand man”, using the illicit funds to support his lifestyle and personal expenses ranging from mortgages to his children’s tuition.
Reportedly, Manafort and Gates “engaged in a multimillion-dollar lobbying campaign in the United States at the direction of Yanukovych” by anonymously hiring two unidentified firms in Washington, DC, $2 million from offshore accounts to do work for the Ukrainian government.