Manafort's Former Accountant Fired by Firm After Testimony
(Bloomberg) -- Paul Manafort’s former accountant was fired from a Virginia firm after she told the court she was aware that Manafort’s tax returns contained false information.
Cindy Laporta testified Friday in the government’s case against the former Trump campaign chairman, saying she went along with the scam because she was worried Manafort and his right-hand-man Rick Gates would sue. Laporta was given immunity from prosecution for her testimony in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia.
Kositzka, Wicks & Co. said in a statement Tuesday it was "shocked by Ms. Laporta’s testimony, which clearly represents that she failed to meet the firm’s high standards for professional and ethical conduct in her work for Mr. Manafort." In a follow-up email, the company said: “She is no longer working here.”
Laporta lists herself as a shareholder in the firm on her LinkedIn account. KWC said it was unaware of any wrongdoing by Laporta before she testified and has never had an employee disciplined by a government agency in its 35-year history.
Laporta said she knew Gates was using false backdated loan documents to lower Manafort’s taxes and borrow money as his income faltered. She acknowledged in court that she “could have refused to file” but risk litigation against the firm or "called Mr. Manafort and Mr. Gates liars." Instead, she filed the return, then immediately regretted it, she testified.
"While the firm believes that her actions were related only to work she performed for Mr. Manafort, and that no other client was affected, a detailed, independent internal review is being conducted to confirm that her activity was isolated," the firm said in the statement.
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