Mueller seeks tough sentence for ex-Trump campaign chairman Manafort

(Reuters) – Prosecutors for Special Counsel Robert Mueller urged a federal choose in Virginia on Friday to impose a strict jail sentence for President Donald Trump’s former campaign supervisor Paul Manafort, after a jury final 12 months convicted him on eight counts of financial institution and tax fraud.

In their sentencing memo filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, prosecutors mentioned Manafort, who’s 69, deserves between 19.6 and 24.four years in jail and a positive of between $50,00zero and $24 million.

“While some of these offenses are commonly prosecuted, there was nothing ordinary about the millions of dollars involved in the defendant’s crimes, the duration of his criminal conduct or the sophistication of his schemes,” prosecutors mentioned within the memo.

“Manafort did not commit these crimes out of necessity or hardship,” they mentioned. “He was well-educated, professionally successful and financially well off. He nonetheless cheated the United States Treasury and the public out of more than $6 million in taxes at a time when he had substantial resources.”

Friday’s courtroom submitting in Virginia got here simply days after a federal choose in Washington, D.C., dominated that Manafort had breached his plea settlement in a parallel case by mendacity to investigators regardless of a pledge to cooperate.

That discovering earlier this week by Judge Amy Berman Jackson in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia may have a direct affect on how Manafort is sentenced within the Virginia case.

Judge T.S. Ellis in Alexandria, Virginia, had deliberate to sentence Manafort on Feb. eight, however he later postponed that till after Jackson’s ruling, saying it “may have some effect on the sentencing decision in this case.”

Manafort was one of many first individuals in Trump’s orbit to face prison expenses as a part of Mueller’s investigation into whether or not Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia to tilt the 2016 presidential election in his favor.

Trump has denied colluding and referred to as the probe a witch hunt, whereas Russia has denied meddling within the election.

None of the fees Manafort confronted associated on to Russian interference within the 2016 campaign.

In the Virginia case, prosecutors accused Manafort of hiding from U.S. tax authorities $16 million he earned as a political marketing consultant for pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine, cash he used to fund an opulent way of life.

Later, when his lobbying work began to dry up following the ouster of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, prosecutors mentioned Manafort started mendacity to banks to safe $20 million in loans to maintain his way of life afloat.

After virtually 4 days of deliberations, a 12-member jury discovered Manafort responsible on two counts of financial institution fraud, 5 counts of tax fraud and one cost of failing to reveal overseas financial institution accounts.

In September, Manafort pleaded responsible in a parallel case in Washington to tried witness tapering and conspiring towards the United States, a cost that covers conduct together with cash laundering and unregistered lobbying.

As a part of that deal, he pledged to cooperate with the Justice Department. However, prosecutors later mentioned they’d caught Manafort in a number of lies and wished to tear up the settlement in a transfer that might trigger him to face a a lot stiffer jail sentence.

FILE PHOTO: Former Trump campaign supervisor Paul Manafort arrives for arraignment on a 3rd superseding indictment towards him by Special Counsel Robert Mueller on expenses of witness tampering, at U.S. District Court in Washington, June 15, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst//File Photo/File Photo

Earlier this week, Jackson dominated there was a “preponderance” of proof that Manafort lied on three completely different subjects, together with his communications together with his former enterprise accomplice Konstantin Kilimnik, who prosecutors say has ties to Russian intelligence and helped Manafort attempt to impede justice. Kilimnik has denied such ties.

Specifically, Jackson discovered that Manafort lied about his interactions with Kilimnik together with concerning the sharing of polling information on the Trump campaign and their discussions over a “Ukrainian peace plan,” a proposal that envisioned ending U.S. sanctions on Russia – lengthy an essential goal of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s authorities.

Prosecutors have mentioned these lies are “at the heart” of their investigation into potential collusion, in accordance with a transcript launched final week.

Reporting by Sarah Lynch and Nathan Layne in Washington; Editing by David Alexander and Leslie Adler

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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