President Trump’s Campaign Manager Paul Manafort Guilty of $60M Tax Fraud

Facing decades in prison, Manafort’s net worth has plummeted.
  • Paul Manafort served as campaign manager for Donald Trump and advised five other Republican presidential candidates during his career.
  • He was convicted of evading taxes on approximately half of his $60 million income in August and entered a guilty plea in a second trial in September.
  • His scandal is the latest in a series of investigations around Trump officials.

President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort is scheduled to enter a guilty plea in a Washington, D.C., U.S. District Court on Sept. 14 for his second trial related to tax fraud and other charges. The announcement means the special counsel’s office has changed his criminal indictment to a plea agreement, according to CNN.

Upon entering the guilt plea, Manfort will forfeit the following assets, reported NBC:

  • A home in the Hamptons, New York
  • A Manhattan property on Howard Street
  • A Brooklyn property
  • A property on Edgewood Street in Alexandria, Virginia
  • All funds contained in four bank accounts
  • A life insurance policy

Paul Manafort’s August 2018 Conviction Means He Could Face Decades in Prison

Manafort was convicted on Aug. 21, 2018, on eight counts of bank and tax fraud. Prosecutors showed he was paid approximately $60 million over the course of a decade by a Ukrainian political party with Russian ties and failed to pay taxes on half of that income. Instead, he hid some $30 million in overseas accounts and in loans, reported NBC News.

Manafort could have faced up to 305 years if convicted on all 18 counts. Sentencing on the eight counts he was convicted on is yet to be determined.

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The conviction stemmed from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Trump campaign officials, but the jury was unable to reach verdicts on 10 other charges against Manafort, resulting in a mistrial on those charges. The charges weren’t directly related to Russian interference in Trump’s election; however, they show a senior campaign official had the means to help Russians, according to NBC.

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Manafort’s Luxury Lifestyle, Failing Business Made Him Desperate for $20M in Loans

The case was focused on Manafort’s lies about money, which were related to financial troubles he was facing in 2016 when he started working for the Trump campaign for free. Prosecutors said he was so desperate for money to maintain the level of luxury he had become accustomed to that he defrauded banks with lies about his income and debt on loan forms to borrow more than $20 million. In 2012, for example, he received a $1.5 million loan from his alleged shell company Peronova Holdings Limited, reported CNN, which was later forgiven as income.

Of the more than $60 million he collected between 2010 and 2014, according to CNN and other sources reporting on his indictment, Manafort spent more than $15 million on extravagant purchases such as:

  • Real estate, including a $1.5 million New York City condo, $3 million Brooklyn brownstone and $2 million house in Virginia
  • Landscaping and home improvements on a property in the Hamptons
  • Nearly $1 million on clothing
  • Three Range Rovers
  • Nearly $1 million at an antique rug store

Manafort’s bookeeper, Heather Washkuhn, testified  that his lobbying company lost more than $630,000 in 2015 and $1.1 million in 2016 after his Ukrainian patrons lost power, CNN reported.

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He Also Improperly Paid Himself a Salary Through His Consulting Firm

Manafort’s conviction isn’t just a cautionary tale about living beyond your means; he’s also a picture of what not to do when you own your own business. His tax preparer, Philip Ayliff, told the jury that Manafort was paying himself a salary through his own consulting firm in 2012, which was an improper business practice.

He reported $5.36 million in total income on his 2012 tax return, including reporting earning wages of $1.99 million, but partners with ownership in a business like his political consulting firm, DMP International, which he owned with his wife, shouldn’t pay out wages, CNN reported of Ayliff’s testimony. Ayliff also testified that he stopped the practice by Manafort when he discovered it.

Political Circles React to Manafort’s Conviction

President Donald Trump hasn’t tweeted about the conviction yet but did share this reaction:

Other politicians, including Sen. Chuck Schumer, have tweeted about the news:

Paul Manafort Net Worth Now Less Than $28 Million

When Manafort was indicted in the fall of 2017, he provided the government with documents listing his total assets at approximately $28 million, reported Bloomberg. Between the $10 million bond he had to post at the time and his legal fees, his net worth has presumably taken a big hit.

At the height of his career, he was worth around $70 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

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Who Is Paul Manafort?

Paul Manafort is a former lobbyist, presidential campaign manager, political adviser and lawyer. He has operated businesses with ties to Ukraine and Russia while working with political candidates, including Donald Trump. Here are more facts about Paul Manafort:

Age: 69
Alma mater: Georgetown Law School
Birthplace: New Britain, Connecticut
Wife: Kathleen Manafort
Served as an adviser to five Republican presidential candidates:

  • Gerald Ford
  • Ronald Reagan
  • Bob Dole
  • George H.W. Bush
  • Donald Trump

Date of arrest: Oct. 30, 2017
Date of conviction: Aug. 8, 2018

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Paul Manfort’s Family

Manafort and his wife Kathleen have been married for 40 years and have two daughters. His father was a Connecticut mayor. Manafort and his wife own several properties and owned their consulting business together. Their daughter Jessica is a film writer and director, and their daughter Andrea is a lawyer.

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