Paul Manafort Was Sentenced. Here's How Long He'll Spend In Prison
08 March, 2019, 03:21 | Author: Ted Wilson
He was found guilty on five tax fraud charges, two counts of bank fraud, and one charge of hiding foreign bank accounts.
The sentencing hearing on Thursday will focus on the financial crimes Manafort committed when he hid millions in offshore accounts in Cyprus and elsewhere while failing to report income to the Internal Revenue Service. But US District Judge T.S. Elliss said the sentencing guidelines were excessive and would create "an unwarranted disparity" with other cases.
Prosecutors have looked to that second sentencing as a backstop to keep Manafort in prison, in case the judge in Virginia is extremely lenient.
He is still facing additional years in prison from another case: After his conviction in Virginia, Manafortpleaded guilty in Washington to foreign lobbying violations and witness tampering as part of a plea deal with prosecutors.
Manafort entered the court wearing a green prison jumpsuit and in a wheelchair.
Judge TS Ellis, imposing the sentence, told Manafort he "lived an otherwise blameless life" but that did not outweigh his crimes, however. He did not express remorse for his actions but talked about how the case has been hard for him and his family.
Mr Trump's campaign co-chair Rick Gates, who was a business partner of Manafort and testified against him in court, is also awaiting sentence.
"The cases that the special counsel have brought against Mr. Manafort have devastated him personally, professionally and financially", they wrote in a March 1 filing.
At one point, Ellis chided prosecutors for spending time on a loan that a bank ultimately did not give Manafort, even though it is a crime to defraud a bank regardless of whether the loan is granted.
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Manafort argued he deserves credit for accepting responsibility and working with the special counsel, although a D.C. judge determined he lied to investigators after his plea.
He is due to be sentenced in another case next week related to his illegal lobbying.
The penalty may be steep enough to keep the longtime lobbyist and former Trump campaign chairman in prison for the rest of his life.
The veteran Republican political consultant had been convicted of eight charges by a jury in Alexandria last August.
To rebut prosecutors, Manafort's lawyers have said that prosecutors have no evidence of Russian collusion by their client and that his interactions with Kilimnik were innocent.
Manafort's attorneys, meanwhile, tried to get him a lighter sentence, citing their client's age and failing health.
Trump has also dangled the possibility of pardons for some of those indicted - including Manafort, who he has praised as a "good man" who has been treated unfairly.
The sentencing capped a stunning downfall for Manafort, a prominent figure in Republican Party circles for decades who also worked as a consultant to such global figures as former Angolan rebel leader Jonas Savimbi, former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos and Yanukovych.
Ellis repeatedly interrupted prosecutors, told them to stop using the word "oligarch" to describe people associated with Manafort because it made him seem "despicable", and objected to pictures of Manafort's luxury items they planned to show jurors.
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