Paul Manafort, 73, is a disgraced American attorney, lobbyist, Republican strategist and former campaign manager for former President Donald Trump. He is also a convicted felon, who was found guilty of tax and money fraud and obstruction and sentenced to seven years in federal prison in March of 2019.
However, when prisoners were being set free due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he was released and confined to his own home instead. Manafort was pardoned by Trump in December of 2020.
He recently admitted to supplying then-confidential polling information to the suspected Russian intelligence officer Konstantin Kilimnik in order to secure business deals, according to the Independent.
At the height of his success, he was reported to have earned over $70 million, but after having been convicted of evading taxes on approximately half of his $60 million income in August 2018, he was forced to forfeit more than $22 million in assets. He presently has a much-reduced net worth of $10 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
The case against him focused on his 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, CNN reported, 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 bookkeeper, 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.
Prior to working with Trump, he has also advised five other Republican presidential candidates during his career. He also owned his own consulting firm.
It is through his own business that he got himself into more trouble.
In addition to living above his 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.
While working as a lobbyist, he brought in more than $50 million for his consulting services to the Ukrainian elite, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
Manafort’s Early Years
Paul John Manafort Jr. was born to Mary and Paul Manafort, Sr., in New Britain, Connecticut on April 1, 1949. His dad was a politician too, having been the mayor of New Britain, Connecticut for six years. Manafort, Sr. was indicted in a corruption scandal in 1981, according to the New York Times.
Manafort earned his Bachelor’s and Law degrees from Georgetown University.
He began his career by working at a law firm and got his start in politics by working for the President Ford Committee. He continued his consulting work helping out the campaigns of many Republican candidates.
His Personal Life
Manafort and his wife, Kathleen were married in August of 1978 and have two daughters. Manafort and his wife own several properties and owned their consulting business together.
After he was pardoned, he was allowed to retain any property that had not previously been sold including a Hamptons estate, a condo in New York and a brownstone in Brooklyn.
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