- New York state prosecutors charged Paul Manafort, the former chairman of President Donald Trump’s campaign, with 16 state felonies on Wednesday.
- They allege Manafort and others engaged in a yearlong fraud scheme to falsify business records and illegally obtain millions of dollars.
- The charges stem from a state investigation into loans that Manafort received from two banks.
New York state prosecutors charged Paul Manafort, the former chairman of President Donald Trump’s campaign, with 16 state felonies related to an alleged fraud scheme, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said Wednesday.
The announcement came just minutes after Manafort was sentenced to a total of seven-and-a-half years in the special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.
The 16-count indictment in New York stems from an investigation that state prosecutors began in 2017, when they started examining loans that Manafort received from two banks.
Prosecutors allege Manafort engaged in the yearlong fraud scheme in which he and others falsified business records to illegally obtain millions of dollars. He has been charged with mortgage fraud, conspiracy, falsifying business records, and scheme to defraud as a result of that investigation.
“No one is beyond the law in New York,” Vance said in a statement.
“Following an investigation commenced by our Office in March 2017, a Manhattan grand jury has charged Mr. Manafort with state criminal violations which strike at the heart of New York’s sovereign interests, including the integrity of our residential mortgage market,” the statement continued. “I thank our prosecutors for their meticulous investigation, which has yielded serious criminal charges for which the defendant has not been held accountable.”
A grand jury first started hearing evidence in the case last week and ultimately voted to charge Manafort.
Last week, Manafort was sentenced to 47 months in prison in the first of two cases against him in the Russia probe.
And earlier Wednesday, US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson sentenced Manafort to an additional 43 months in the second of the two cases.
Trump has frequently publicly sympathized with his former campaign chairman, saying he feels “very badly” about what Manafort and his family went through in the Russia investigation. Last month, Bloomberg News reported that New York state prosecutors were putting together a criminal case against Manafort in the event that Trump pardoned him.
The Constitution grants the president broad authority to pardon federal crimes, but he cannot pardon state crimes.
In the Mueller probe, Manafort was charged with multiple counts of tax fraud, bank fraud, failure to report foreign bank accounts, false statements, money laundering, failure to register as a foreign agent, conspiracy, and obstruction of justice.
He was convicted of eight counts of tax fraud, bank fraud, and failure to report foreign bank accounts. He also pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and one count of obstruction as part of a plea deal with Mueller.
But Jackson voided Manafort’s plea deal after the court found that he breached the deal by lying to prosecutors about several interactions under scrutiny in the Russia investigation.
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