Here’s the Evidence Mueller Will Show to Paul Manafort Jurors
(Bloomberg) -- On the eve of Paul Manafort’s tax and bank fraud trial, U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller says he has pictures.
And bank records, business contracts, emails, loan agreements and hundreds of other documents.
Less than a week before jury selection for Manafort’s trial in Alexandria, Virginia, Mueller released a list of the exhibits he plans to present to persuade the panel that President Donald Trump’s onetime campaign chairman lied to banks and U.S. tax authorities.
Prosecutors will use the exhibits -- hundreds of them, described in a 21-page filing -- to support a narrative they have largely spelled out in court documents. They say Manafort made tens millions of dollars as an unregistered agent for Ukraine; steered it into offshore accounts; brought it to the U.S. to buy houses, cars, clothes, and jewelry; and lied to U.S. authorities and banks about what he earned and his wealth. Manafort has denied any wrongdoing.
The list includes photographs of houses and jewelry, emails and memos, and financial records relating to Manafort’s storied career as a political consultant and the lavish lifestyle they say it bought. Each item bears a brief description. “Bank Records -- Cyprus.” “Chart -- Mercedes Benz of Alexandria Payments.” “ Photograph -- Waterfall Pond.”
Here’s what they have and how it fits together:
Manafort Worked in Ukraine
Prosecutors are likely to begin building their case by showing how Manafort worked as a political consultant in Ukraine on election campaigns for Viktor Yanukovych’s pro-Russia Party of Regions. After Yanukovych fled to Russia following protests in 2014, Manafort worked for the Opposition Bloc, the successor to the Party of Regions.
His right-hand man at the time was Rick Gates, who pleaded guilty and is cooperating with Mueller, and his local fixer was Konstantin Kilimnik. Prosecutors say Kilimnik is tied to Russian intelligence, which he denies, and have accused him of attempting to tamper with witnesses.
The documents include:
- Memos from Manafort to Yanukovych about bonuses, media strategy and the U.S. government. Three photos of Yanukovych are on the list.
- Dozens of emails between Manafort, Gates and Kilimnik
- Memos between Manafort and several Yanukovych allies in which they coordinated budgets, payments and political messaging
- Invoices and emails from U.S. consultants and pollsters who worked with Manafort in Ukraine
Money Left Ukraine
Prosecutors say Manafort and Gates set up corporations and bank accounts in the names of others in Cyprus, the U.K., and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The pair used money from those corporations to pay U.S. vendors, often disguising it as loans, according to prosecutors.
Jurors will see documents that suggest how money flowed offshore, including:
- “Deposit Analysis -- Foreign Source of Funds Received by Foreign Accounts”
- “Chart -- Analysis of Foreign Bank Accounts”
- “Telmar Leviathan Loan”
He Lived Large...
Prosecutors plan to show the jury the spoils of Manafort’s work, arguing that he transferred his overseas wealth to the U.S. to support a lavish lifestyle without paying taxes on his income.
Jurors could see evidence relating to these purchases:
- Clothing and a wristwatch from the appointment-only House of Bijan in Beverly Hills, which promotes its couture as “wearable art.” The indictment refers to $520,000 in clothing purchases from there.
- Clothes from designer Alan Katzman’s Alan Couture in New York. That store appears to match one described in the indictment that received almost $850,000 from Manafort’s offshore accounts.
- Items from J&J Oriental Rug Gallery costing a total of $934,000
- A Mercedes Benz SL 550 that his wife, Kathleen, bought in 2012
- New York Yankees season tickets
...In Expensive Houses
The U.S. alleges Manafort funneled money through offshore accounts and into the U.S. Jurors are likely to see voluminous exhibits related to Manafort’s properties, including a luxurious home in the Hamptons; a brownstone in Brooklyn, New York; a condominium in Alexandria, Virginia; and his daughter’s home in Arlington, Virginia.
The documents include:
- Photographs of Manafort’s 5,574-square-foot home in Bridgehampton, New York, which included a putting green, pool house, pergola and “waterfall pond”
- Photographs of other properties including the Alexandria condominium and his daughter’s home
- Charts listing millions of dollars in payments to landscapers, renovators and other home-improvement companies
He Allegedly Lied to Lenders...
Manafort often borrowed against properties he owned and lent money for real estate ventures by his son-in-law. Prosecutors accuse Manafort of bank fraud, saying he secured more than $20 million in loans by inflating his income and hiding his debts.
Records jurors may see include:
- Airbnb listings and renovations for a condominium that Manafort offered to renters in the Soho neighborhood of New York, despite saying in a mortgage application that it wasn’t a rental property, prosecutors say
- Emails between Manafort and Gates in October 2016 regarding profit and loan statements. Prosecutors allege they doctored the statement to inflate Manafort’s income by $3.5 million and then submitted it as part of a mortgage application.
- Emails between Manafort and Chicago banker Stephen Calk, whose Federal Savings Bank provided Manafort and a company tied to him with $16 million in loans. House Democrats have questioned whether Manafort received the loans in exchange for promises to Calk of a high-level job in the Trump administration. Two of the emails, in August 2016, refer to Calk’s work history and “professional bio.”
- Emails between Manafort and his then-son-in-law Jeffrey Yohai, whose developments with Manafort ended up in bankruptcy. Yohai pleaded guilty in a fraud investigation, and he’s cooperating with investigators, a person familiar with the probe said.
...And Claimed No Overseas Income
The foreign earnings that prosecutors say were funneled through offshore bank accounts aren’t included in Manafort’s U.S. tax declarations.
Manafort’s tax returns listed $504,744 in income in 2010, $3.1 million in 2011, $5.4 million in 2012, $1.9 million in 2013 and almost $3 million in 2014, according to the indictment. He also failed to “check the box” to disclose offshore financial accounts or file reports of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts, with the Treasury Department, prosecutors said.
By contrast, days after his initial indictment on Oct. 27, Manafort gave lenders estimates of his wealth ranging from $19 million to $136 million, prosecutors said. They said Manafort’s holdings were “substantial if difficult to quantify precisely because of his varying representations.”
Jurors may see records including:
- Bank statements and loan documents for Manafort accounts in Cyprus, the U.K., and St. Vincent and the Grenadines
- General ledgers and financial statements for Manafort’s consulting companies
- Personal and business tax returns
- Wire transfers to third-party vendors benefiting Manafort
- Emails asking questions about Manafort’s tax returns
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