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Manafort accused of mortgage fraud in Manhattan


Potential involvement in a multimillion-dollar mortgage fraud case landed Paul Manafort in even more hot water on Wednesday, with a New York grand jury indicting the former Trump campaign chairman on 16 counts.

ManafortThe counts range from first-degree residential mortgage fraud to fourth-degree conspiracy, with the indictments coming soon after Manafort was found guilty of conspiracy by a federal court. That conviction was added to the one he received last week for tax and bank fraud. Both sets of federal charges — brought against Manafort by special counsel Robert Mueller — have netted Manafort a total of 7 1/2 years in prison, nine months of which will be credited for time served.

Wednesday's indictment, levied by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., alleges that Manafort falsified business records to fraudulently procure millions of dollars from 2015 to 2017. An investigation into Manafort’s activities launched in March 2017, after prosecutors decided to scrutinize his loans from two separate banks. That investigation was tabled to avoid interference with Mueller’s own inquiries, but were recently began anew, with a grand jury convening last week to review evidence.

NBC News reported that Manafort faces a sentence of eight to 25 years if convicted of the highest count.

“No one is beyond the law in New York,” Vance said in a Wednesday statement. “I thank our prosecutors for their meticulous investigation, which has yielded serious criminal charges for which the defendant has not been held accountable.”

Part of the new case is centered on Manafort’s New York City home, which was used as a rental property from 2015 to 2016. Manafort allegedly applied for a mortgage on the property in 2015, then falsely reported that it was a secondary home for his daughter and son-in-law, rather than a rental property, in a bid for a larger loan. The indictment includes transcripts of e-mails between Manafort and his son-in-law showing intent to mislead an appraiser.

Manafort has since been ordered to forfeit the home in question after admitting that it was used to launder money made from illegal pro-Russia lobbying.

Notably, while the federal charges against Manafort fall under presidential-pardon powers, convictions on the New York state charges against Manafort do not.


 

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