Paul Manafort Charged With Real Estate Fraud In New York

Paul Manafort Charged With Real Estate Fraud In New York

Within minutes of the sentencing, prosecutors in NY brought state charges against Manafort - a move that appeared at least partly created to guard against the possibility that President Donald Trump could pardon him.

"No one is beyond the law in New York", Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said in a statement announcing the indictment.

In delivering the sentence, Judge Amy Berman Jackson stipulated that, while the charges against Manafort did result from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of his work for a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine, his guilt does not constitute evidence of collusion between Russian officials and the Trump campaign.

The new charges from NY are significant because Trump can't pardon him for crimes at the state level, guaranteeing that Manafort will serve at least some prison time.

Prosecutors in the Manhattan district attorney's office had reportedly paused the state's investigation to avoid interfering in Mueller's probe.

Manafort was convicted of bank and tax fraud in the Virginia case and pleaded guilty in Washington to two conspiracy counts, each punishable by up to five years in prison.

Manafort was sentenced after conviction in two federal courts on felonies ranging from financial fraud to failing to register as a foreign agent. The Mueller indictment states that Manafort got the apartment for $2.85 million after transferring funds from a company in Cyprus, then falsely claimed it was a second home for his daughter and son-in-law, and used it as an Airbnb rental.

His attempts to cover up his crimes by asking witnesses to lie for him, Weissmann said, "is not reflective of somebody who has learned a harsh lesson".

"His work was corrosive to faith in the political process, both in the United States and overseas", prosecutor Andrew Weissmann said. "Period", Jackson said. "Therefore, it was not resolved one way or the other in this case".

Trump has called Mueller's investigation a "witch hunt", and Manafort's lawyers have argued that this case does nothing to prove that the campaign conspired with Russian Federation.

"I am sorry for what I've done", Manafort told the courtroom.

"This case has taken everything from me already", he said, asking the judge to let him and his wife be together.

He apologised to the judge from a wheelchair to "all those negatively affected by my actions", acknowledging that he did not express such regret when sentenced days ago by Ellis for bank and tax fraud.

Prosecutor Andrew Weissmann said Manafort had engaged in an extensive cover-up that deceived the US government and the American public, and continued to try to undermine the investigation even after he pleaded guilty.

"This defendant is not pubic enemy Number 1", Jackson said.

As to the political atmosphere, Jackson said she could not opine about the public perception or the broader Russian Federation imbroglio because it was not a subject of the matter at hand.

One key figure in that scheme was Manafort's partner Konstantin Kilimnik, whom prosecutors have linked with Russia's intelligence services. But Jackson said Manafort should get credit for accepting responsibility because he pleaded guilty to the conduct at issue, though he later breached his cooperation deal with prosecutors. After Ellis handed down Manafort's 47-month sentence last week, Trump said he felt "very badly for Paul Manafort".

"I have not even given it a thought as of this moment", Trump said.

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