As if indicting 13 Russian nationals for interfering in the 2016 presidential election wasn’t enough to accomplish in one day, Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller had one last trick up his sleeve before the day ended, leveling new charges against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort that weren’t included in his original indictment last October.
As Manafort continues to try to negotiate terms of a $10 million bail deal with the Special Prosecutor’s office, Mueller turned up the heat on Trump’s former campaign head with an accusation of bank fraud in the submission of false information to a bank in connection with a mortgage application on top of the original charges of money laundering and failure to properly register as a foreign agent in his work for the Ukraine, according to a report on Politico.
Mueller’s prosecutors filed the additional charges with the judge in the case in a court filing earlier this week but just revealed today in a redacted version.
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“The proposed package is deficient in the government’s view, in light of additional criminal conduct that we have learned since the Court’s initial bail determination. That criminal conduct includes a series of bank frauds and bank fraud conspiracies,” the filing states.
The court document says that Manafort used “doctored profit and loss statements” that overstated the income from his consulting company DMP International “by millions of dollars” to obtain a $9.5 million mortgage from the Federal Savings Bank of Chicago in 2016.
The filing also mentions unexplained “conspiracies” that suggest that someone in addition to Manafort was implicated in the fraud, but the redacted document contains no further details.
Reports in the Wall Street Journal last year indicated that New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office was investigating loans that Manafort took in the course of various real estate transactions including some originated by Federal Savings Bank of Chicago, noting that the bank’s chairman, Stephen Calk, served as an economic adviser to the Trump campaign.
Manafort remains under house arrest at his Alexandria, Virginia condo, one of his many homes, since his arrest in October along with his business partner and Trump campaign deputy Rick Gates. Negotiations over terms of bail continue, but Mueller’s office has been opposing defense attorneys’ requests regarding the collateral Manafort wants to post. The revelation of the new allegations of fraud is seen by legal analysts as a part of the maneuvering over Manafort’s bail terms.
Meanwhile, while no date for Manafort’s trial has been set, the judge in the case indicated last month that an early autumn start date would be most likely.