Trump’s ex- campaign chief, Manafort, to be sentenced March 8

Paul Manafort
Paul Manafort [Photo Credit: The Hill]

U.S. President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, will be sentenced for bank and tax fraud on March 8, according to a court filing posted on Thursday.

This was just days before he is due to be sentenced in a separate case for lobbying violations.

Mr Manafort, 69, could spend the rest of his life in prison for charges stemming from his work as an international political consultant and lobbyist.

He is one of the first people in Mr Trump’s orbit to face criminal charges stemming from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Mr Mueller is urging a federal judge in Virginia to impose a prison sentence of up to 24 years and a fine of up to 24 million dollars, after a jury found Mr Manafort guilty of trying to hide millions of dollars.

Mr Manafort trying to hide millions of dollars he earned as a consultant for pro-Russian leaders in Ukraine, and lying to banks to secure loans to fund his lavish lifestyle after that income dried up.

Mr Manafort is also due to be sentenced on March 13 in a parallel federal case in Washington.

He pleaded guilty in 2018 to conspiracy against the U.S. for conduct that ranged from money laundering to unregistered lobbying and admitted to witness tampering as well.

But U.S. Judge Amy Berman Jackson ruled last week that he violated his plea deal by lying to prosecutors, which removes their obligation to ask for a lighter sentence.

Legal experts say he faces up to a decade in prison for those crimes.
In the bank and tax fraud case, Mr Manafort has until March 1 to submit a filing arguing for a lighter sentence to U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis in Alexandria, Virginia.

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Mr Mueller’s office will be able to file a reply to Mr Manafort’s memo by March 6.

Russia denies meddling in the election. Trump has said there was no collusion between his Republican campaign and Russia, and has labeled Mueller’s investigation a witch hunt.

(Reuters/NAN)

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