Gates Admits Embezzling From Manafort, Helping Hide Fraud

  • Gates Admits Embezzling From Manafort, Helping Hide Fraud

Gates Admits Embezzling From Manafort, Helping Hide Fraud

They were the first two people indicted by Mueller's grand jury.

They also allege that when that income began to fall away, Manafort turned to using falsified documents to get bank loans.

Gates admitted that at Manafort's behest, they later created a loan agreement for Lyovochkin's payment, though no loan existed.

Mr Gates, whose testimony in the federal court trial of Mr Manafort - his longtime business partner - in Alexandria, Virginia, was continuing, was expected to be a star witness in the Government's case, having pleaded guilty in February and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors under a deal that could lead to a reduced sentence.

On Tuesday, Gates did connect one part of the bank fraud charges against Manafort to his role in the Trump campaign. Manafort then paid Gates out of Cryprus-based bank accounts illegally concealed from the United States government, Gates testified, according to CNN crime and justice reporter Shimon Prokupecz.

But the prosecution's witnesses have also testified that they generally believed that Gates was carrying out Manafort's wishes when he gave false information to Manafort's accountants.

During opening arguments last week, the defense team made it clear they intend to blame Gates, who handled some day-to-day business operations for Manafort, for numerous alleged reporting deficiencies Manafort is charged with.

Gates described how he helped Manafort hide the amount of taxes he owed.

Downing also accused Gates of embezzling "millions", a higher amount than Gates later admitted to in his testimony.

Andres said he was entitled to show the jury why Manafort was getting tens of millions of dollars in payments.

Prosecutors say this work resulted in earnings of around $60m (£46m) and that a "significant percentage" of this was omitted from Manafort's income tax returns.

Gates said that Manafort told him to get in touch with Philip Ayliff, one of Manafort's tax accountants, but Gates said he could only reach Cindy LaPorta, another accountant who received immunity to testify last week.

She told jurors that Manafort and Gates would send her documents that were clearly fake in efforts to either trim the tax bills or inflate income to secure loans from banks. "In reality, it was basically money moving between accounts", Gates said, according to the Associated Press.

His testimony represents the biggest test yet for Mueller's investigation even though this case does not directly play into the issue of alleged cooperation by the Trump campaign in Russian election interference.

Politico describes "a series of prickly clashes" between the prosecutor, Greg Andres, and U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III during testimony by Manafort's former deputy, Rick Gates.

Testimony from Mr Manafort's tax preparer continued on Monday.

Manafort, a flamboyant figure in Washington for decades, became known for his consulting and lobbying work for ethically questionable worldwide leaders like Ukraine's Viktor Yanukovych. They aimed to show jurors how that money flowed from more than a dozen shell companies used to stash the income in Cyprus.