Thursday, 20 June 2019
Latest news
Main » Manafort's accountants to take spotlight in trial's third day

Manafort's accountants to take spotlight in trial's third day

06 August 2018

He said Manafort was the only business client of his who paid via worldwide wire transfer.

A former employee of New York City's Alan Couture boutique testified that he bought "an unusual number of suits".

Similar to prior witnesses, Laporta testified that Gates and Manafort were in lockstep but that Manafort was in charge. The prosecution has pressed that Manafort made false financial representations in order to obtain loans from banks. One way to do that could be to show that documents Manafort had provided to the accountant contained details about foreign bank accounts.

Cindy Laporta, Paul Manafort's longtime tax preparer, gave critical testimony Friday in Manafort's criminal trial about his and Rick Gates' alleged tax and bank fraud.

Bookkeeper Heather Washkuhn testified Thursday that Manafort approved "every penny" of the personal bills she paid for him and was very knowledgeable about his finances. Emails presented in court show that at one point, she informed Manafort that his company's health insurance plan was going to be canceled because the bill had not been paid.

After spending the first two days of the trial laying out Mr Manafort's lavish spending, the prosecution is now digging into how he accounted for the more than $81 million he made in Ukraine and his efforts to allegedly mislead banks to get loans once the income from Ukraine dropped off precipitously in 2014.

Washkuhn also said Rick Gates, Manafort's business partner who is now a prosecution witness, repeatedly asked her to change old financial statements to show additional income, and requested copies of financial statements that could be edited. Did you know Paul Manafort was affiliated with these companies? the prosecutor begins. "I very much regret it", she told the courtroom. She said, "It's not appropriate. you can't pick and choose". "I don't see a monkey wrench so far".

The jury heard testimony from the chief operating officer of an audio and visual equipment company that did lucrative business with Manafort.

"I am confused", Gates said.

Manafort's lawyers have sought to blame Gates for any illegal conduct.

With offhand remarks, aggressive pushback and a need for speed, Judge Ellis has become a character in this trial himself. Prosecutors wrote that this was the "prototypical" case to do so because of its complexity. After all, the federal court in suburban D.C. where Manafort is being tried is known as the "rocket docket".

The judge has warned prosecutors not to inject Russian matters into the case, and on Wednesday morning instructed them not to use the word "oligarch" when describing some of the people connected to the case. Ellis said the term could be perceived as negative and could potentially bias jurors against Manafort. "I don't know if there is enough to convict him right now, but they're laying the groundwork for it". "That's not the American way".

This courtroom sketch depicts Paul Manafort, fourth from right, standing with his lawyers in front of US district Judge T.S. Ellis III, center rear, and the selected jury, seated left, during the jury selection of his trial at the Alexandria Federal Courthouse in Alexandria, Va., Tuesday, July 31, 2018. "Mueller's lead prosecutor in this case, Andrew Weissmann, is working hard to make sure that happens", Tucker Carlson said.

Said Republican Senator John Thune for South Dakota: "They ought to let them conclude their work".

The trial resumes Monday afternoon with the cross-examination of Laporta.

As part of his guilty plea, Gates acknowledged routinely dealing with accountants in the preparation of Manafort's tax returns and misleading them with false information, although he said he did so with Manafort's knowledge.

And one of the five witnesses who was granted immunity testified Friday that she knowingly filed falsified tax returns to reduce the amount of taxes Manafort needed to pay.

Through witnesses, prosecutors have laid out the broad outlines of their case.

Manafort's accountants to take spotlight in trial's third day