National Security

Mueller files new charges against Manafort, Gates

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Special counsel Robert Mueller has filed new charges against former Trump campaign staffers Paul Manafort and Richard Gates.

A federal court in Virginia on Thursday returned a 32-count superseding indictment charging Manafort and Gates with committing tax fraud, failing to file reports on foreign bank and financial accounts, and bank fraud conspiracy.

“Manafort and Gates generated tens of millions of dollars in income as a result of their Ukraine work,” the indictment says. “From approximately 2006 through the present, Manafort and Gates engaged in a scheme to hide income from United States authorities, while enjoying the use of the money.”

Twenty-three of the counts in the new indictment apply to Gates, while 13 apply to Manafort.

The new charges in the case against Gates and Manafort come less than a week after Mueller indicted 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities for orchestrating an elaborate scheme to interfere in the election using social media and other means.

They also come on the heels of a guilty plea from lawyer Alex can der Zwaan, who confessed to lying to FBI agents about his conversations with Gates about a 2012 report he had a hand in compiling for Ukraine’s government.

The new indictment also follows reports that Mueller filed new charges under seal Wednesday in the case against Manafort and Gates.

Meanwhile, Gates is rumored to be nearing a plea deal in Mueller’s probe into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential elections, which would pave the way for him to cooperate as a witness against Manafort, his longtime business associate.

Mueller initially charged Manafort and Gates in late October. Both have pleaded not guilty.

The original 12-count indictment against Manafort and Gates, unsealed in October, detailed extensive allegations of financial crimes, including bank fraud and money laundering, linked to their work for pro-Russian political parties in Ukraine.

Manafort allegedly used the money to support what the indictment describes as a “lavish” lifestyle in the U.S., including purchasing multimillion-dollar real estate properties and other luxury goods. Gates allegedly used the funds to pay for his children’s tuition, interior decorating and to finance his home in Virginia.

The criminal charges are not linked to Manafort’s and Gates’s work on President Trump’s campaign.

In total, prosecutors allege that more than $75 million flowed through Manafort’s and Gates’s offshore accounts. Manafort is accused of laundering more than $30 million that he concealed from the Treasury Department with Gates’s help. The indictment says Gates obtained more than $3 million from the offshore accounts that he concealed from the government.

In what appears to be a fresh accusation, the new indictment alleges that Manafort, with Gates’s help, extracted money from his real estate holdings between 2015 and “at least January 2017” in order to fraudulently secure more than $20 million in loans. The two allegedly inflated Manafort’s and his company’s income and failed to disclose debts in order to be approved for the loans.

“In the second part of the scheme, between approximately 2015 and at least January 2017, when the Ukraine income dwindled after [Viktor] Yanukovych fled to Russia, Manafort, with the assistance of Gates, extracted money from Manafort’s United States real estate by, among other things, using those properties as collateral to obtain loans from multiple financial institutions,” the indictment states.

“Manafort and Gates fraudulently secured more than twenty million dollars in loans by falsely inflating [Manafort’s] and his company’s income and by failing to disclose existing debt in order to qualify for the loans.”

Updated at 5:21 p.m.

Tags bank fraud Conspiracy Donald Trump Mueller indictments Paul Manafort Paul Manafort Rick Gates Robert Mueller Special Counsel investigation

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