Former 'Right-Hand Man' Rick Gates To Testify In Manafort's Trial

Former 'Right-Hand Man' Rick Gates To Testify In Manafort's Trial

Former 'Right-Hand Man' Rick Gates To Testify In Manafort's Trial

Defense lawyers have painted Gates as an untrustworthy business partner who embezzled funds from Manafort's consulting firm.

The trial in northern Virginia is the first of two for Manafort.

In Friday's testimony, and throughout the trial thus far, neither Trump nor Russian Federation has been discussed, as evidence has focused on Manafort's work as a consultant in the years before he joined Trump's campaign in the presidential election year.

U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III asked Laporta about her understanding of the forgiven loan.

And that's not even mentioning the $15,000 ostrich leather jacket. The trial in that case is expected to begin September 17.

Paul Manafort (right) and his lawyer, Kevin Downing, arrive at the federal courthouse for a motion hearing./Victoria Pickering (Flickr).

A witness from a landscape company talked about flower-lined tennis courts at Manafort's property in the Hamptons on Long Island, N.Y. He said he did so at Manafort's direction.

Prosecutors allege he used the money he made overseas to fund his expensive tastes, including nearly $1 million on suits and $15,000 on an ostrich leather jacket.

But more important than what Manafort bought was how he bought it.

Prosecutors are trying to craft a narrative through the various vendors, bookkeepers, and accountants who have testified that Manafort, through Gates, directed his own illicit transactions.

Manafort was also a customer of House of Bijan, another luxury menswear shop.

The final result of this alleged loan back-shifting was "an income tax bill that Manafort could pay", Laporta said.

Manafort has pleaded not guilty to 18 counts of bank and tax fraud and failing to disclose foreign bank accounts.

Ayliff began his testimony on Thursday, when he said the his clients attest to the accuracy of the tax returns he prepares and that his firm wasn't responsible for checking the accuracy of information provided by clients.

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, his attorneys would like a jury to believe, was simultaneously a highly skilled and sought-after political consultant and a clueless executive unwittingly benefiting from a conspiracy led by his right-hand man to keep foreign-earned cash out of Uncle Sam's pocket.

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Heather Washkuhn, a bookkeeper for Manafort, testified that a March 2016 email sent to the bank executive listing a net income of $4.45 million for Manafort's consulting company for 2015 was incorrect.

The jury had heard testimony on Friday and Monday from accountant Cynthia Laporta, who described how Manafort and Gates doctored financial statements and backdated loans.

ALEXANDRIA, Virginia - On Friday, Cindy Laporta, a longtime accountant for Paul Manafort, admitted to helping Manafort and his deputy, Rick Gates, falsify financial documents in an effort to commit tax fraud.

Manafort is on trial for bank and tax fraud and federal prosecutors outlined his purchases on Wednesday to build a case about Manafort's income.

That is because, given how much evidence is spelled out in black-and-white in a paper trail, it's very hard to find a strategy for defending against the charges. "I don't see a monkey wrench so far".

In their opening statements, Manafort's defense attorneys argued Manafort was simply too busy to deal with his finances and entrusted Gates with that task. Gates pleaded guilty in February and is expected to testify against Manafort, possibly next week.

"Rick Gates is a double-edged sword", said Mintz.

The charges against Manafort grew from Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, and whether any Americans conspired with those efforts.

"Cross-examination is a crucible", Buell said.

Ellis, the judge, granted Laporta immunity at the request of the special counsel.

All told, prosecutors allege that Manafort failed to report a "significant percentage" of the more than $60 million they say he received from Ukrainians. "That's not the American way". "You can't pick and chose what's a loan and what's income", she said.

As mentioned, prosecutors say they hope to rest their case this week. She also told bank officials a loan to Mr. Manafort had been forgiven despite having no documentation that was the case.

Ms Laporta said she knew it was "inappropriate" but agreed to alter the records to show that Mr Manafort's firm received a $US1.2 million loan from Telmar in 2014, a change that would save Mr Manafort almost a half million dollars in U.S. taxes, Ms Laporta said.

After Laporta, the remainder of the prosecution's witness list is unclear.

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