Judge: Manafort could spend 'the rest of his life in prison'

Judge: Manafort could spend 'the rest of his life in prison'
© Greg Nash

Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortManfort's defense team works to raise doubt among jurors Jury to begin deliberations Thursday on Manafort Top Senate Intel Dem: Trump compiling a 'Nixonian enemies list' MORE, President TrumpDonald John TrumpGillibrand urges opposition to Kavanaugh: Fight for abortion rights 'is now or never' Trump claims tariffs on foreign nations will rescue US steel industry: report Bannon announces pro-Trump movie, operation team ahead of midterms: report MORE's former campaign chairman, could end up behind bars for the rest of his life if he is convicted of the charges against him, a federal judge said in an order made public on Tuesday.

“Given the nature of the charges against the defendant and the apparent weight of the evidence against him, defendant faces the very real possibility of spending the rest of his life in prison,” District Judge T.S. Ellis III wrote, according to Politico.

Ellis, based in Alexandria, Va., is presiding over a new indictment filed against Manafort that accuses him of bank fraud and tax evasion. He said Manafort is a flight risk because of the severity of the allegations and ordered him to remain under house arrest.

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“The defendant is a person of great wealth who has the financial means and international connections to flee and remain at large, as well as every incentive to do so,” Ellis said.

In October 2017, a grand jury in Washington, D.C., empaneled by special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE charged Manafort with money laundering and for failing to report his prior work with Ukraine.

In February, a grand jury in Virginia filed a second indictment against Manafort with bank fraud and tax evasion charges.

He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of the charges in D.C. and about 10 years in prison if he is convicted of the charges in Virginia, according to federal sentencing guidelines.

Manafort is under a “24-hour-a-day lockdown” at his home in Alexandria. He is allowed out of his home for court appearances, medical appointments and emergencies.

He does not have to post bail but he would be fined $10 million if he doesn’t appear in court.

Ellis has told Manafort that he would be willing to loosen his confinement restrictions if he was willing to ensure he would appear in court by promising to provide enough property as collateral.