How Paul Manafort spent his millions, according to the feds

How Paul Manafort spent his millions, according to the feds”

Dan McLaughlin and Jonah Goldberg have both made important points about the Paul Manafort indictment, but I'm afraid both are missing the real scandal: This guy allegedly wired almost a million bucks to an antique-rug store over a two-year period, and then $100,000 more to a "related" business a couple years later.

Manafort purchased properties worth $15 million since 2006 - the year he signed a $10 million-a-year contract with Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska - the Associated Press reported earlier this year.

The payments came from three Manafort-controlled business entities in Cyprus, one in the Grenadines and one in the United Kingdom.

Manafort and Gates worked as unregistered agents for the Ukrainian government and the pro-Russia Party of Regions, among other groups, and hid the money from US authorities in part using offshore bank accounts, including those in Cyrus, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, according to the indictment. "Manafort also used these offshore accounts to purchase multi-million dollar properties in the United States". According to the indictment, three properties in NY and one in Virginia were purchased with ill-gotten gains and are subject to forfeiture. Many local officials have long complained that the opaque nature of LLCs enables illicit activities such as tax evasion, fraud and money laundering. The indictment states he paid $2.85 million for the Manhattan condo and $3 million for the Brooklyn brownstone.

According to the indictment, Manafort claimed that the Howard Street apartment was a secondary residence for his daughter and son-in-law, when in fact, he was renting it out on Airbnb, "among other places".

The indictment also said Manafort falsely identified the property as a second, owner-occupied home instead of a rental property to the bank to get a better loan when he applied for a mortgage.

He ended up getting a loan for $3.185 million.

Here's a look at Manafort's homes listed in the indictment. But that project stalled, leaving the property vacant with with a broken window, much to the chagrin of neighbors, according to Pardon Me for Asking. Transfers to an antique rug store totaled $934,000. "In his tax returns, Manafort took advantage of the beneficial tax consequences of owning this rental property". When the loan closed, he used hundreds of thousands of dollars from it to make a down payment on another property in California.

The Manhattan property isn't the only one of Manafort's homes mentioned in the 30-page indictment. And the pair racked up quite the bill buying antiques, men's clothing and fancy cars.

-Antique dealer in NY: $623,910.

-Housekeeping in NY: $20,000. "Frankly, it shouldn't take a federal investigation to shine a light on LLC ownership", Hoylman said. "Anywhere else in the world, $6 million in home improvements would be awfully suspicious".

Manafort also had $1.9 million wired from Cyprus for a property in Arlington, Virginia, in 2012.

All totaled, the two are accused of acquiring more than $75 million from their consulting clients and hiding it in what the indictment said were scores of US and offshore shell companies, partnerships and bank accounts.

The 31-page indictment, which includes eight pages of itemized expenditures, reports about $624,000 spent on antiques in ny, $500,000 placed with an investment fund, $211,000 spent on high-end sports-utility vehicles, $63,000 on a Mercedes Benz, $125,000 on home improvements in Virginia, $31,000 on art in Florida, $112,000 on more home entertainment electronics in the Hamptons and $20,000 on a ny maid service.

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