Thursday, 20 September, 2018

Bank VP says employees knew Manafort lied on loan applications

Prosecution rests case against Paul Manafort Prosecution rests case in Paul Manafort trial
Ellis Copeland | 17 August, 2018, 10:56

USA prosecutors on Monday rested their case against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort after 10 days of testimony detailing how he avoided taxes on at least $16 million of income and lied to banks to maintain an extravagant lifestyle once his work for pro-Kremlin politicians in Ukraine dried up.

US prosecutors on Monday rested their case against Manafort after 10 days of testimony alleging he evaded taxes and defrauded banks.

The defense rested its case just one day after special counsel Robert Mueller's office called more than two dozen witnesses to testify against Manafort, who faces charges of money laundering and tax fraud.

Raico did not follow through on the request, he said, because it made him "very uncomfortable" and because he believed Calk had pushed Manafort's loan requests through as a quid pro quo for a political appointment.

The prosecution has introduced a trove of documentary evidence as they've sought to prove Manafort committed 18 separate criminal counts.

Westling also asked Brennan if it's acceptable for the borrower to create his or her own profit and loss statement for a loan application, a reference to prosecutors' allegation that Manafort improperly inflated his income in his loan applications.

Before he had even rated the loan deal with Manafort, Calk had decided that the deal was getting done, Brennan testified, even though if it was up to him or Calk's other two credit committee members, TFSB would have pulled out of the deal over multiple discrepancies in Manafort's reported income and a $300,000 debt that he owed on his American Express card from a New York Yankees season ticket purchase.

The trial is the first to emerge from Mr Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the presidential election, but neither Mr Manafort nor his long-time deputy, Rick Gates, have been charged in connection with their Trump campaign work.

Because Calk had predetermined that TFSB would make the loan, Brennan said he felt pressure to give it the bare minimum rating for approval, a 4, to avoid raising red flags for federal regulators who sniff out improper loans. Liss testified last week that Manafort did not disclose his foreign bank accounts. "They will be totally reliable and responsive to the Trump White House", Manafort wrote, providing brief biographies for Calk and the other two candidates.

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Calk also listed 19 potential ambassadorships.

Before Manafort's email to Kushner, he and Calk discussed possible administration posts.

The trappings of Manafort's lifestyle dominated media headlines throughout the trial: there was half a million dollars worth of antique rugs, $750,000 spent on landscaping for his $13 million Bridgehampton mansion, and more than $1 million for clothing, including a $15,000 jacket made of ostrich skin.

The trial of longtime Washington operator Paul Manafort is turning from the prosecution to his defense team.

Liss clarified for the jury Monday that no foreign bank account disclosures existed for Manafort's consulting companies from 2011 to 2014.

Late Monday, Manafort's team also made a motion to dismiss all the charges, saying the government hadn't met its burden of proof.

While the contents of the motion are unknown, the development comes after an unexplained delay in the trial and unusually detailed instructions by Ellis to the jurors on Friday, in which he pressed them not to talk to anyone about the case.

Manafort's decision not to testify and not to call witnesses was announced by his attorney, Kevin Downing, before the jury on Tuesday afternoon.

Some legal experts have speculated that it may have been triggered by a problem with the jury after Ellis reminded jurors in unusual detail and multiple times about the defendant's presumed innocence, the need to "keep an open mind" about the trial and not to talk to anyone about the case.

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