1. A concise summary of a convoluted alleged scheme
Defendants PAUL J. MANAFORT, JR., (MANAFORT) and RICHARD W. GATES III (GATES) served for years as political consultants and lobbyists. Between at least 2006 and 2015, MANAFORT and GATES acted as unregistered agents of the Government of Ukraine, the Party of Regions (a Ukrainian political party whose leader Viktor Yanukovych was President from 2010 to 2014), Yanukovych, and the Opposition Bloc (a successor to the Party of Regions that formed in 2014 when Yanukovych fled to Russia). MANAFORT and GATES generated tens of millions of dollars in income as a result of their Ukraine work. In order to hide Ukraine payments from United States authorities, from approximately 2006 through at least 2016, MANAFORT and GATES laundered the money through scores of United States and foreign corporations, partnerships and bank accounts.
2. New details about a high-profile raid
In fact, MANAFORT and GATES had: selected Company A and Company B; engaged in weekly scheduled calls and frequent emails with Company A and Company B to provide them directions as to specific lobbying steps that should be taken; sought and received detailed oral and written reports from these firms on the lobbying work they had performed; communicated With Yanukovych to brief him on their lobbying efforts; both congratulated and reprimanded Company A and Company B on their lobbying work; communicated directly with United States officials in connection with this work; and paid the lobbying firms over $2 million from offshore accounts they controlled, among other things. In addition, court-authorized searches of MANAFORT and GATES’ DMI email accounts and MANAFORT’S Virginia residence in July 2017 revealed numerous documents, including documents related to lobbying, which were more than thirty-days old at the time of the November 2016 letter to the Department of Justice.
3. Hiding foreign bank accounts
Furthermore, in each of MANAFORT’s tax filings for 2008 through 2014, MANAFORT represented falsely that he did not have authority over any foreign bank accounts. MANAFORT and GATES had repeatedly and falsely represented in writing to MANAFORT’s tax preparer that MANAFORT had no authority over foreign bank accounts, knowing that such false representations would result in false MANAFORT tax filings. For instance, on October 4, 2011, MANAFORT’S tax preparer asked MANAFORT in writing: “At any time during 2010, did you [or your wife or children] have an interest in or a signature or other authority over a financial account in a foreign country, such as a bank account, securities account or other financial account?” On the same day, MANAFORT falsely responded “NO.” MANAFORT responded the same way as recently as October 3, 2016, When MANAFORT’S tax preparer again emailed the question in connection with the preparation of MANAFORT’s tax returns: “Foreign bank accounts etc.?” MANAFORT responded on or about the same day: “NONE.”
4. Defrauding lenders
After MANAFORT used his offshore accounts to purchase real estate in the United States, he took out mortgages on the properties, thereby allowing MANAFORT to have the benefits of liquid income without paying taxes on it. Further, MANAFORT defrauded the banks that loaned him the money so that he could withdraw more money at a cheaper rate than he otherwise would have been permitted.
5. Conspiracy against the United States
From in or about and between 2006 and 2017, both dates being approximate and inclusive, in the District of Columbia and elsewhere, the defendants PAUL J. MANAFORT JR., and RICHARD W. GATES III, together with others, knowingly and intentionally conspired to defraud the United States by impeding, impairing, obstructing, and defeating the lawful governmental functions of a government agency, namely the Department of Justice and the Department of the Treasury, and to commit offenses against the United States, to wit, the violations of law charged in Counts Three through Six and Ten through Twelve.
6. An unusual basis for money laundering charges
(a) transport, transmit, and transfer monetary instruments and funds from places outside the United States to and through places in the United States and from places in the United States to and through places outside the United States, with the intent to promote the carrying on of specified unlawful activity, to wit: a felony Violation of the FARA, in Violation of Title 22, United States Code, Sections 612 and 618 (the “Specified Unlawful Activity”), contrary to Title 18, United States Code, Section 1956(a)(2)(A); and
(b) conduct financial transactions, affecting interstate and foreign commerce, knowing that the property involved in the financial transactions would represent the proceeds of some form of unlawful activity, and the transactions in fact would involve the proceeds of Specified Unlawful Activity, knowing that such financial transactions were designed in whole and in part (i) to engage in conduct constituting a Violation of sections 7201 and 7206 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, and (ii) to conceal and disguise the nature, location, source, ownership, and control of the proceeds of the Specified Unlawful Activity, contrary to Title 18, United States Code, Section 19S6(a)(1)(A)(ii) and l956(a)(1)(B)(i).
7. Mueller is going after Manafort’s assets
The world-class bias of the Times shows up at the end -- as you might expect -- implying that the only logical outcome of the investigation is a takedown of Donald Trump.
52. Pursuant to Fed. R. Crim, P. 32.2, notice is hereby given to the defendants that the United States will seek forfeiture as part of any sentence in accordance with Title 18, United States Code, Sections 981(a)(1)(C) and 982(a)(1) and(a)(2), and Title 28, United States Code, Section 2461(c), in the event of the defendants’ convictions under Count Two of this Indictment.
Of course, the Times' reprot ignores the concrete evidence of the treasonous Clinton Foundation deal with Uranium One. And the ties between the Podesta Group and Russia. And the fact that Tony Podesta suddenly resigned from his lobbying group today.
Of course, if you're looking for real news, the last place you'd look is the Times. But you knew that already.
Hat tip: BadBlue Real-Time News.