Day Four: Accountant Testifies How She Helped Hide Manafort’s Ukraine Income

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Day Four: Accountant Testifies How She Helped Hide Manafort’s Ukraine Income

Paul Manafort's longtime bookkeeper is testifying that profit and loss statements the former Trump campaign chairman submitted to obtain bank loans contained false information - and, at times, obvious misspellings. Jonah Green has more.

Greg Andres, a member of Mueller's team, confirmed that the prosecution will call on Gates. Another series of emails warned him of an upcoming deadline to pay property taxes on one of his homes in NY before penalties kicked in.

Ellis indicated he believes the prosecution has demonstrated Manafort had control of foreign bank accounts despite checking a box on tax returns saying he didn't.

Paul Manafort's trial opened this week with a display of his opulent lifestyle and testimony about what prosecutors say were years of financial deception.

"He was trying to reduce income and therefore, income taxes", Laporta said, adding that she believed such conduct was "inappropriate".

The trial is the first to stem from the Russian Federation probe by special counsel Robert Mueller, who was tasked a year ago with investigating the Kremlin's efforts to sway the US presidential election and potential collusion with the Trump campaign.

One Republican who is in frequent contact with the president, told Sherman that "the Manafort trial is spinning him into a frenzy". "It's evidence of his income".

They also testified that they often did not receive the underlying documentation they requested to support transactions that Manafort and Gates falsely characterized as loans on Manafort's tax returns and financial statements. Prosecutors wrote that an Federal Bureau of Investigation forensic accountant reviewed "tens of thousands of documents containing thousands of entries, from approximately 20 financial institutions and 35 companies" to make the charts, which prosecutors said summarize Manafort's purchases and payments from foreign and US bank accounts. That includes his longtime associate Rick Gates, who pleaded guilty earlier this year and is expected to testify soon as the government's star witness.

But the very existence of overseas accounts in Manafort's name would mean he inked his own signature to open them in the first place. Ms. Laporta recalled Mr. Gates telling her the potential tax bill was too high and Mr. Manafort "didn't have that money". In calling Gates, the government will present jurors with the first-hand account of a co-conspirator expected to say Manafort was knee-deep in an alleged scheme to hide millions of dollars from the IRS and defraud several banks.

The prosecutors say that line of inquiry would only be appropriate, if at all, if Manafort were to take the stand. Manafort claims that Gates embezzled millions of dollars from his political consulting business.

Later the president invoked one of the nation's most notorious criminals, 1920s gangster Al Capone, and posed the question "who was treated worse" while airing his grievance about Manafort being held in solitary confinement ahead of a conviction.

Gates, who pleaded guilty in February of conspiracy and lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, is cooperating with Mueller's probe, and is expected to testify later in the trial.

Laporta testified she knew an accounting treatment for a loan was wrong when preparing Manafort's tax return for 2014.

Kathleen Manafort, walks to the Alexandria Federal Courthouse in Alexandria, Va., Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018, to attend the trial of her husband, President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort's tax evasion and bank fraud trial.

Prosecutors are heading toward the heart of their financial fraud case against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. But he says Manafort authorized those discussions, and the two never contradicted each other.

Laporta said she knew it was "inappropriate" but agreed to alter the records to show that Manafort's firm received a $900,000 loan from Telmar in 2014, a change that would save Manafort almost a half million dollars in taxes, Laporta said. It would address allegations that he acted as an unregistered foreign agent for Ukrainian interests and made false statements to the USA government.

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