Manafort Could Face Almost 20 Years in Prison on D.C. Charges

(Bloomberg) -- Paul Manafort could be sentenced to almost 20 years in prison under federal sentencing guidelines based solely on the charges he faces in a Washington federal court, Special Counsel Robert Mueller said.

A final sentence would be determined by a judge, if Manafort were convicted, and the judge can impose a harsher, or a more lenient, sentence than recommended by the guidelines.

Once the chairman of President Donald Trump’s election campaign, the former international political consultant pleaded not guilty Wednesday to a revised five-count indictment unsealed in Washington last week. He’s accused of conspiring to defraud the Treasury Department, conspiracy to launder money, failure to disclose his lobbying for a pro-Russian Ukrainian government and with making false statements to federal agents. His trial is scheduled for Sept. 17.

He’s also scheduled to answer 18 other charges at the U.S. court in Alexandria, Virginia, on Friday. Mueller, on Wednesday, submitted to Alexandria Judge T.S. Ellis a report detailing the crimes of which Manafort is accused in both Virginia and Washington.

Manafort’s defense was made more difficult by last week’s decision of his long-time business associate Rick Gates to plead guilty to two charges in Washington and cooperate in the special counsel’s probe.

Manafort, 68, is charged in Virginia with tax fraud, failure to report foreign bank and financial accounts and, most significantly, with nine counts of bank fraud and bank fraud conspiracy. The five tax-fraud charges alone could result in a sentence of more than 10 years, according to the federal guidelines, prosecutors said.

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