Prosecutors say Manafort and Gates received ‘millions’ from ‘Russian oligarchs’


Paul Manafort
Paul
Manafort leaves Federal District Court in Washington, Monday,
Oct. 30, 2017.

AP Photo/Alex
Brandon


  • A newly unsealed docket in the criminal case against
    Paul Manafort and his longtime business badociate Rick Gates
    alleged that both men had received “millions of dollars” from
    Ukrainian and Russian oligarchs.
  • The money would allow them “to live comfortably
    abroad” and therefore make them a flight risk, according to the
    documents.
  • Gates was released on his own personal recognizance, or
    a promise that he will return to court, but Manafort was
    released into a “high intensity supervision program.”
  • Both men are subjects of Robert Mueller’s wide-ranging
    Russia election-meddling investigation.

A newly unsealed docket in the criminal case against Paul
Manafort and his longtime business badociate Rick Gates alleged
that both men had received “millions of dollars” from Ukrainian
and Russian oligarchs that would allow them “to live comfortably
abroad” and therefore make them a flight risk. 

The government wrote in the documents unsealed on
Tuesday, which include arrest warrants and the terms of their
release
, that Manafort and Gates “

have
connections to Ukrainian and Russian oligarchs, who have
provided” them with “millions of dollars.”

“Foreign connections of this kind indicate that the
defendants would have access to funds and an ability ‘to live
comfortably’ abroad…a consideration that strongly suggests risk
of flight,” the filings said. 

Whereas Gates was released on his own personal recognizance, or a
promise that he will return to court, Manafort was released into
a “high intensity supervision program.”

Both men were placed on house arrest after the
government successfully argued that they “pose a risk of flight
based on the serious nature of the charges, their history of
deceptive and misleading conduct, the potentially significant
sentences the defendants face, the strong evidence of guilt,
their significant financial resources, and their foreign
connections.”

Manafort and Gates, who both pleaded not guilty on Monday, were
required to turn over their pbadports to the FBI and notify the
bureau of their movements. According to the filing, Manafort
currently has three pbadports with different numbers — and
has “submitted ten US pbadport applications on ten different
occasions” over the past decade. 

“Manafort and Gates are frequent international travelers,
consistent with the nature of their work for foreign entities,”
the filing read. “Within the last year, Manafort has traveled to
Dubai, Cancun, Panama City, Havana, Shanghai, Madrid, Tokyo, and
Grand Cayman Island…The investigation has also revealed that
Gates and Manafort traveled to Cyprus, the place where many of
their foreign accounts are based.”

Additionally, Manafort allegedly registered a phone number and
email address using an alias, according to the government. He
traveled with that phone to “Mexico in June 2017; to China on May
23, 2017; and to Ecuador on May 9, 2017.”

The New York Times reported in July, citing financial documents
filed in Cyprus, that Manafort was in debt to pro-Russian
interests by as much as $17 million by the time he joined
President Donald Trump’s campaign team in March 2016.

Manafort also has significant business ties to the Russian
billionaire Oleg Deripaska, who signed a $10
million annual contract with Manafort
 in 2006,
according to the Associated Press, for a lobbying project in the
US that Manafort said would “greatly benefit the Putin
Government.”

That relationship turned sour in 2014, though, when
Deripaska’s representatives filed legal complaints in the Cayman
Islands alleging that Manafort all but disappeared with $19
million Deripaska had given him to invest in

Ukrainian TV company called Black Sea
Cable.

In early 2016, Deripaska’s representatives “openly accused
Manafort of fraud and pledged to recover the money from
him,” according to The Associated Press.
“After Trump earned the nomination [in May], Deripaska’s
representatives said they would no longer discuss the
case.”

In a July 2016 email, Manafort asked
his  longtime employee Konstantin Kilimnik, a
Russian-Ukrainian dual citizen, to offer Deripaska “private
briefings” about the campaign. 

Kilimnik, too, may appear in the newly unsealed docket. According
to the government, “Manafort, Gates, and a Russian national—who
is a longstanding employee of Davis Manafort Partners, Inc. and
DMP International LLC (collectively DMI)—served as the beneficial
owners and signatories” on the many offshore accounts they had
opened.

“More than $75 million flowed through these overseas accounts,”
the filings said, “and the government has substantial documentary
evidence to support that allegation.”

Manafort also represented the value of his badets on loan
applications “in divergent amounts, ” according to the court
filings. The values varied wildly in 2016, when he was
serving as Trump’s campaign chairman — from $48 million in
February 2016 to $136 million in May 2016 to $25 million in
November 2016 — suggesting “considerable resources, the full
extent of which is unclear,” the government wrote.

Gates, meanwhile, “frequently changed banks and opened
and closed bank accounts,” prosecutors said. He allegedly opened
55 accounts with 13 different banks, some of which were based in
England and Cyprus.
 


Source link

Leave a Reply