Gates Describes Manafort Orders While Defense Hammers 'Secret Life'
09 August, 2018, 19:38 | Author: Myra Gill
In one exchange published in court Wednesday, Manafort instructs his Cypriot lawyer, Kypros Chrysostomides - referred to in court as "Dr. K" because, according to Gates, his name is hard to spell and pronounce - to transfer money from the Manafort-controlled Leviathan Ltd. However, Gates also said the agents did not ask about tax returns and "the majority of the Cypriot accounts were closed" at the stage.
Ellis and Andres continued to butt heads Wednesday, after Ellis once again reminded the prosecutors they should wrap their case quickly. "I'm here", Gates responded.
Gates' testimony concluded Wednesday following three days worth of questioning, during which he detailed how he and Manafort had 15 undisclosed foreign bank accounts and falsifying bank accounts.
"I thought it was somewhere in the range of a hundred years, your honor", Gates said.
Downing spent several hours on Tuesday firing questions at Gates to attack his credibility as a witness, bringing up lies, an extramarital affair in London he used the firm's expenses to pay for and money he embezzled from Manafort.
Now the trial will likely move into gritty tales of bank fraud.
Gates admitted during testimony on Monday to embezzling money from Manafort.
But when Downing tried to question Gates on Tuesday about what the special counsel team had asked him about the Trump campaign, Andres objected.
Gates said he and Manafort created an elaborate operation in Cyprus to use shell companies to secretly accept the money.
Prosecutors so far have offered testimony on Manafort's alleged tax fraud, including wide-ranging testimony from his former deputy Rick Gates and Manafort's former tax preparer Cindy LaPorta.
After Downing asked Gates Wednesday whether he had multiple affairs, Judge T.S. Ellis had a private conversation, out of earshot of the jury.
But Downing wasn't able to re-ask Gates the question about four extramarital affairs.
Prosecutors are contending that Paul Manafort lied to a bank to obtain millions of dollars in loans on New York City properties.
Rick Gates said that he told Federal Bureau of Investigation agents and Justice Department lawyers about some of the offshore companies that contained millions of dollars in proceeds from their Ukrainian political work.
The accusation came after Manafort's lawyer, Kevin Downing, established that Gates knew his plea deal with Special Counsel Robert Mueller was contingent on his telling the truth.
He scoffed at the idea Mr Gates had repented for his actions, noting that prosecutors have said they won't oppose his bid for probation and getting him to acknowledge he had not repaid the money he had taken from Mr Manafort. However, the Manafort case - as President Donald Trump has been quick to point out - focuses on Manafort's business dealings and has no direct connection to Manafort's work with the Trump campaign.
The jury has heard how Manafort made tens of millions of dollars working for pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine.
Melinda James, a mortgage loan assistant at Citizen's Bank, testified about a loan application from Manafort she helped process in late 2016 and early 2016. Prosecutors had previously said that Manafort's interactions with Calk were the only part of the trial expected to overlap with his Trump campaign role.
The questioning is part of the Manafort defense strategy of presenting Gates to the jury as someone who lies and can not be trusted.
On the seventh day of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's criminal trial, the prosecution wasn't ready to rest.
At the time he worked for Trump, jurors heard, Manafort's business in Ukraine had always been dried up, and his firm didn't have any clients.
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