Gates Admits Embezzling From Manafort, Helping Hide Fraud

Gates Admits Embezzling From Manafort, Helping Hide Fraud

Gates Admits Embezzling From Manafort, Helping Hide Fraud

Gates, considered a star witness against Manafort, struck a plea deal with prosecutors to cooperate in the case against his former business partner.

Gates, who was a senior Trump aide and Manafort's deputy, has already admitted two felony charges (financial fraud and lying to investigators).

Prosecutors summoned Gates, described by witnesses as Manafort's "right-hand man", to give jurors the direct account of a co-conspirator they say carried out an elaborate offshore tax-evasion and fraud scheme on behalf of his boss. The current federal trial in the Eastern District of Virginia is based on alleged tax and bank fraud, while next month's Washington, D.C. trial deals with allegations of conspiracy, money laundering, and acting as an unregistered foreign agent.

"Rick Gates had his hand in the cookie jar and couldn't let his boss find out", Manafort defense attorney Thomas Zehnle said during opening arguments.

"Did you commit crimes with Mr. Manafort?" a prosecutor asked Gates.

Manafort's defense has sought to blame Gates for any illegal conduct and accused him of embezzling millions of dollars.

Gates also reportedly told the court on Monday that he had been told by Mr Manafort not to disclose foreign bank accounts.

Those admissions are likely to become a focal point for Mr Manafort's defense team when he is cross examined today.

"Mr. Manafort requested I make wire transfers from the foreign accounts", Gates said.

Trump hasn't tweeted about Manafort since the first day of the trial last week, and the trial itself is not about the work Manafort did on the campaign. Mueller is also investigating possible coordination between Trump campaign members and Russian officials in the election campaign, but the charges against Manafort do not address that.

He also said Manafort helped four Ukrainian businessman elect a pro-Russia president in Ukraine in 2010 in exchange for millions that were paid to Manafort through shell companies. When Robert Mueller began investigating Russian interference past year, Manafort's questionable lobbying work - the sort of activity that has historically rarely been investigated in Washington - was put under a microscope, exposing him and his associates.

Gates also copped to inflating Manafort's income in doctored financial statements he provided to banks where Manafort was applying for loans once DMP's revenue stream from Ukraine dried up in 2014.

Similar to prior witnesses, Ms Laporta testified Mr Gates and Mr Manafort were in lockstep but that Mr Manafort was in charge.

His testimony is scheduled to continue on Tuesday.

On Friday, a tax preparer named Cindy Laporta admitted that she helped disguise $900,000 in foreign income as a loan in order to reduce Manafort's tax burden.

During Manafort's trial, Greg D. Andres and other prosecutors have tried to illustrate the corrupt nature of the Ukrainian politicians and oligarchs Manafort worked with-and Judge T.S. Ellis has discouraged such testimony. Testifying under immunity, she was the first witness to admit she knew accounting manoeuvres Manafort and Gates requested of her were wrong and could be crimes.

But Laporta's testimony raised the stakes for Manafort.

Laporta thought that was odd, so she asked Gates for information about the $2.4 million Manafort was supposedly owed.

Related news



[an error occurred while processing the directive]