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- Prosecutors detailed new information about Paul Manafort’s income and spending in opening statements on Tuesday.
- The former Trump campaign chairman’s trial is the first to stem from the special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.
- The indictment against Manafort detailed his “lavish” spending. He has pleaded not guilty, and stands charged with 18 counts, including tax fraud, bank fraud, and money laundering.
Paul Manafort spent thousands on his menswear collection, including a $15,000 purchase of a jacket “made from an ostrich,” prosecutors revealed in opening statements in his high-profile trial on Tuesday.
Assistant US Attorney Uzo Asonye told a jury of six men and six women that Manafort funneled tens of millions of dollars into offshore accounts in a multi-million-dollar conspiracy to evade US tax and banking laws.
Asonye detailed new information about Manafort’s income and spending, saying that he used his offshore accounts to pay for personal purchases – including a $21,000 watch and a $15,000 jacket made of ostrich.
Manafort also spent $6 million cash on real estate, the Associated Press reported, including a $2 million property a “stone’s throw” away from the courthouse in Alexandria, Virginia, Asonye said, according to MailOnline.
“A man in this courtroom believed the law did not apply to him – not tax law, not banking law,” Asonye told the jury.
Prosecutors intend to argue that Manafort moved more than $60 million from Ukrainian political consulting into offshore bank accounts. The government claims that Manafort hid a “significant” amount of the funds from the IRS.
Manafort’s attorney has argued that his client never intended to deceive US authorities about his income or bank accounts. Manafort is pleading not guilty in the case.
President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman’s trial is the first to stem from the special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.
Asonye’s comments were the first made in the bank fraud and tax evasion trial, which kicked off Tuesday and is expected to last several weeks.