Published: Fri, March 08, 2019
World Media | By Cesar Oliver

Paul Manafort: Ex-Trump campaign chief jailed for fraud

Paul Manafort: Ex-Trump campaign chief jailed for fraud

The Republican political operative, 69, was found guilty of multiple counts of bank and tax fraud by a federal court previous year.

Manafort was convicted after prosecutors accused him of hiding from the US government millions of dollars he earned as a consultant for Ukraine's former pro-Russia government.

In a 17-page court filing submitted late Tuesday to the U.S. District Court in Virginia, Mueller pushed back against Manafort's assertion that he has accepted responsibility for his crimes and deserves a reduced sentence, arguing that the longtime Republican consultant shows a "lack of remorse".

Mueller's office took no position on how much time Manafort should serve, but noted that the sentencing guidelines called for between 19 and 24 years and said the sentence should "take into account the gravity" of Manafort's conduct and deter both him and "those who would commit a similar series of crimes".

Manafort added that he hoped to turn things around "through the power of prayer and God's guiding hand" before asking the judge for compassion.

Manafort entered the court wearing a green prison jumpsuit and in a wheelchair. He did not express remorse for his actions but talked about how the case has been hard for him and his family.

"To say I have been humiliated and ashamed would be a gross understatement", Manafort, who opted not to testify during his trial, told the court.

"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.

Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort arrives for a hearing at the E. Barrett Prettyman US Courthouse on 23 May 2018 in Washington, DC. Even after his trial and guilty plea, Manafort's legal team had an unusual arrangement with Trump's legal team that gave Trump's team insight into the questions Mueller's team was pursuing.

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But Mueller's team said that even though Manafort agreed to cooperate with their investigation, he lied to them about the nature of his contacts with Konstantin Kilimnik, a business associate suspected of having ties to Russian intelligence.

Mueller's charges led to the stunning downfall of 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.

Judge: He said that Manafort has been a "generous person" who has "lived an otherwise blameless life", but that Manafort's tax evasion was "a theft of money from everyone who pays taxes". The ruling voids his plea deal and exposes Manafort, at a minimum, to a harsher sentence.

Trump's former personal attorney Michael Cohen is to begin serving a three-year prison sentence on May 6 for fraud, tax evasion, illegal campaign contributions and lying to Congress.

His sentencing marks a spectacular downfall for a high-rolling Republican political guru who advised U.S. presidents, including Mr Trump, and foreign leaders.

Manafort was convicted in August of eight financial crimes in the Virginia case.

In an 848 page sentencing memo released last month, the special counsel laid out a pattern of deception that was not done out of necessity, but out of greed.

First, they say Manafort has suffered serious health problems since he has been incarcerated, mostly in solitary confinement, at the Alexandria jail where he awaits sentence.

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