- Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, and his associate Rick Gates have been indicted on charges including money laundering and tax fraud. Manafort is charged with laundering over $18 million, which the indictment says he obtained illegally from the Ukrainian government and its political leaders from 2006 to 2015. The indictment says Manafort enjoyed a “lavish” lifestyle and bought many multimillion-dollar properties and “personal items” like Range Rovers, rugs, and clothing.
President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, and Manafort’s business associate Rick Gates were indicted by a grand jury on Monday morning on a range of charges.
The charges, brought by the special counsel Robert Mueller, include laundering more than $21 million – more than $18 million by Manafort and more than $3 million by Gates – beginning in 2006 and lasting through at least 2016. Manafort and Gates surrendered to the FBI on Monday morning.
The indictment says Manafort and Gates received the money by acting as unregistered agents of the pro-Russia government of Ukraine and its political parties and leaders. All payments received from those entities were hidden from the US government and the IRS, the indictment says.
Money laundering refers to when illegally obtained money is made to appear as though it came from legitimate sources. To transfer millions of dollars to the US without the government and IRS noticing would require sophisticated financial maneuvering.
In 2012, the indictment says, Manafort wired $6.4 million from offshore accounts to purchase two New York properties – a condominium on Howard Street and a brownstone on Union Street – and a house in Arlington, Virginia.
“Manafort used his hidden overseas wealth to enjoy a lavish lifestyle in the United States, without paying taxes on that income,” the indictment says, adding, “Manafort then borrowed millions of dollars in loans using these properties as collateral, thereby obtaining cash in the United States without reporting and paying taxes on that income.”
The tax bill on $21 million in ordinary income earned legitimately in the US would have been over $8 million.
The indictment says that from 2008 to 2014, Manafort also used offshore accounts to wire over $12 million to fund a luxurious lifestyle, paying for items like Range Rovers, men’s clothing, and housekeeping services.
Here are some of the vendors of “personal items” the indictment says Manafort bought through offshore accounts:
- $5,434,793: Home improvement company in the Hamptons, New York. $1,319,281: Home automation, lighting, and home entertainment company in Florida. $934,350: Antique rug store in Alexandria, Virginia. $849,215: Men’s clothing store in New York. $655,500: Landscaper in the Hamptons. $520,440: Clothing store in Beverly Hills, California. $273,455: Payments related to four Range Rovers and a Mercedes-Benz. $20,000: Housekeeping in New York.