Rick Gates' trustworthiness questioned in Paul Manafort trial

10 August, 2018, 10:43 | Author: Bert Pena
  • Defense in Manafort trial zeroes in on Gates's 'secret life'

Gates' previous testimony underscored how much Gates knew about Manafort's wire transfers and the lies other witnesses have said Manafort told the IRS, tax preparers and his bookkeeper.

But in reality, Manafort rented out the Howard Street loft on Airbnb for more than a year - as an "Amazing full floor loft in SoHo" - and still had a mortgage on the Brooklyn brownstone, James said.

Gates, who pleaded guilty and is cooperating with Mueller's prosecutors, spent less than 70 minutes on the witness stand on Wednesday. "In new court filing prosecutors are fighting back after days of Judge Ellis growing increasingly angry at them. When I exclude witnesses, I mean everybody". Ken gives his analysis ("it's typical"), and tells Josh about other typical federal court moments. That is expected to continue on Wednesday - and then prosecutors are expected to have an opportunity to question Gates again and try to rehabilitate him.

After questioning Gates for two hours on Tuesday, Downing finished in less than 10 minutes on Wednesday. Trump often boasts that he hires "the best people", and the sixth day of the trial showcased two people who worked for him, one who allegedly tried to use his influence in Trump's circle to boost someone he had a sketchy financial relationship with, and another who admitted under oath that he may have stolen money from Trump's inaugural committee.

The judge has subjected the prosecution to repeated tongue-lashings over the pace of their questioning, their massive amount of trial exhibits and even their facial expressions. "In my experience, another judge would have cut his head off".

Ellis has repeatedly tussled with prosecutors, interrupting them and pressuring them to hurry through their case.

The FBI forensic accountant, Morgan Magionos, told jurors that bank records from Cyprus, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the United Kingdom revealed the accounts were connected to Manafort and his associates.

Manafort has pleaded not guilty to 18 counts of bank fraud, tax fraud and failing to disclose foreign bank accounts.

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The terms of Manafort's loan also allowed him to withdraw cash from the bank, and Miceli testified that was not allowed for loans against investment properties. He said there were 15 secret accounts.

But his involvement in creating those documents and executing those transactions, they have said, did not extend beyond inking his signature at the bottom. Prosecutors allege Manafort used various ways to hide his income, including wiring money from Ukraine to the United States via a bank in Cyprus and listing it as a loan, and laundering almost $1 million through the purchases of Oriental rugs.

In detailed testimony this week, Gates has walked prosecutors through the step-by-step process on how he and Manafort doctored and backdated documents.

Before lunch, defense lawyer Jay Nanavati read a stipulation - an agreement on facts between the prosecution and the defense - to the jury that Manafort took out a $5.3 million mortgage on a property in Brooklyn on February 9, 2016.

"The loan was way over the maximum" for an investment property rather than a home, she said. She also said Manafort told Banc of California that his company made almost $4.5 million when the actual amount was $400,000.

Melinda James, a mortgage loan assistant at Citizens Bank, told jurors how Manafort obtained a $3.4 million cash-out refinance in 2016 on a property he owned in Lower Manhattan.

Andres also revisited the embezzlement Gates committed against Manafort. I hope Manafort said "thank you" at least.

The U.S. District Courthouse is seen ahead of Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort arriving for the opening day of his trial on bank and tax fraud charges stemming from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, in Alexandria, Virginia, U.S., July 31, 2018.

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