Paul Manafort and Rick Gates were charged in a 12-count indictment sought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. They are accused of acting for a decade as unregistered agents of the Ukrainian government, hiding tens of millions of dollars in income for that work from the U.S. government, and laundering the proceeds through scores of corporations, partnerships and bank accounts in the U.S. and abroad.
Here are highlights from the indictment unsealed on Monday:
– Both men hid their work for the former Ukrainian president Victor Yanukovych, his Party of Regions and the Ukrainian government from 2006 “through at least 2016,” according to the indictment.
– Manafort alone laundered more than $18 million to finance what the indictment called his “lavish lifestyle,” which included millions of dollars in real estate, luxury cars, antiques, clothing, landscaping services and home improvements. He also defrauded banks that loaned him money, prosecutors said, and failed to file reports to the Treasury Department declaring ownership of foreign bank accounts.
– After news reports surfaced in August 2016 about Manafort’s work in Ukraine, he and Gates “developed a false and misleading cover story” to distance themselves from their activities, the indictment said. This included “false and misleading letters” in November 2016 and February 2017 to the Justice Department, which was trying to determine whether they had acted as “foreign principals” under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Prosecutors charged them with false statements for those two letters.
– They lobbied members of Congress and worked with two other Washington lobbying firms, identified in the indictment only as Company A and Company B, according to the indictment. Manafort and Gates directed the work of those firms on Ukraine and paid them more than $2 million from the offshore accounts, it said.
– To hide their assets, the men controlled dozens of business entities in Cyprus, Grenadines and the U.K. that masked their ownership, the indictment said. They also owned U.S. entities in Delaware, Virginia and Florida.
– Prosecutors seek the forfeiture of four Manafort properties, including a Brooklyn brownstone, a Lower Manhattan condominium, and homes in Arlington, Virginia, and eastern Long Island.
(c) 2017, Bloomberg · David Voreacos