Published: Tue, August 07, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Prosecutors try to cut out part of Manafort's tax defense

Prosecutors try to cut out part of Manafort's tax defense

Other witnesses testifying this week said Manafort paid them millions from the offshore accounts tied to foreign shell companies for landscaping, expensive clothing and even a Karaoke machine. After some give-and-take, they settled on an amount of $900,000 to be classified as a loan.

Asked why she engaged in misconduct, Laporta said she had few good choices. "You can't pick and chose what's a loan and what's income".

The first trial of Manafort - he faces another trial next month in the D.C. Circuit on charges of operating as an unregistered foreign agent and lying to investigators - got off to a running start Tuesday in the Eastern District of Virginia with a jury selected and seated in about three hours and opening statements delivered before the close of the day.

Late on Thursday, Manafort filed an objection to the government's bid to block his legal team from raising the fact that he and his companies were never audited by the Internal Revenue Service. "I'll tell you what, Russia's very unhappy that Trump won, that I can tell you".

But Ms. Laporta's actions weren't just limited to filing possible false tax returns. That's how people learned he once spent more than $400,000 in a single year on his own personal wardrobe, paying handsomely for it with it through global wire transfers from foreign bank accounts, according to witnesses and prosecutors.

In any case, Mr Sessions recused himself from the investigation in March a year ago and does not have the power to stop it.

Laporta testified that the 2014 loan agreement "didn't exist before the conversation" she had with Gates in 2015.

Paul Manafort (right) and his lawyer, Kevin Downing, arrive at the federal courthouse for a motion hearing./Victoria Pickering (Flickr). During this conference call, Gates allegedly said, "Income tax is too high".

Ms. Laporta then took Mr. Gates' letter, which was in an easily modified Microsoft Word file, and saved it as a.PDF, which gave it more authenticity.

She said she knowingly sent the fraudulent letter to the bank because she thought the institution would vet the document. "He is fighting back", she said. "I wanted it to be the client's document".

Mickelson, Woods set for November showdown in Las Vegas
Mickleson saying, "Now, I don't know if he wants a piece of me, but I just think it would be something that would be really fun". The duo have been rivals for much of their careers, with Mickelson a long-time number two to Woods' domination as world No.1.

Ellis indicated he believes the prosecution has demonstrated Manafort had control of foreign bank accounts despite checking a box on tax returns saying he didn't.

"It's kind of leading up to Gates" testimony that, "Yep, this is what he was telling me to do, '" the former US prosecutor said. In his answer, Manafort said he had "NONE".

Gates will carry the weight of those lies with him to the witness stand, and defense lawyers have made clear their strategy is to blame Gates for any crimes that may have occurred.

Trump was closely monitoring news coverage of the Manafort proceedings, which provoked the spate of incendiary tweets, according to the two Republicans and two White House officials.

The bookkeeper said Paul Manafort submitted fake financial documents. That was somewhat surprising given that the defense counsel has thrown relatively few questions at prosecution witnesses.

Gates was initially a codefendant until he pleaded guilty to two counts related to conspiracy and lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in February. But attempts to verify the loan's terms were futile. Manafort was aware of the reported loan, which served to reduce his income, she said.

In Friday's testimony, and throughout the trial thus far, neither Trump nor Russian Federation has been discussed, as evidence has focused on Manafort's work as a consultant in the years before he joined Trump's campaign in the presidential election year.

They have also accused Mr. Manafort of disguising income drawn from these accounts as loans to avoid paying taxes on it.

And regardless of the outcome, what we've learned so far shows that Manafort should never have gotten within a mile of a major party nominee's campaign, much less been tapped to run it.

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