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Forensic Accountant Next Up in Manafort Trial as Gates Ends Testimony

Forensic Accountant Next Up in Manafort Trial as Gates Ends Testimony

Downing then stepped back in with a bombshell, suggesting Gates's "secret life" included multiple extramarital affairs. He testified that he and Manafort knew they were committing crimes for years, concealing money in foreign bank accounts and falsifying bank loan documents.

Prosecutors summoned Mr Gates to give jurors the first-hand account of a co-conspirator they say helped Mr Manafort carry out an elaborate offshore tax-evasion and bank fraud scheme. "In reality, it was basically money moving between accounts".

At the time he worked for Trump, jurors heard, Manafort's business in Ukraine had always been dried up, and his firm didn't have any clients.

She said Manafort did not disclose that a brownstone he owned in Brooklyn had a mortgage against it and indicated the Manhattan condominium was a second residence, when it was listed for rent. "I was probably wrong in that", said Ellis.

Rick Gates has been the government's star witness in Manafort's financial fraud trial, testifying how, at the behest of his longtime boss, he helped hide millions of dollars in foreign income and submitted fake mortgage and tax documents.

He has already admitted embezzling some funds from Manafort.

U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III has been pushing prosecutors to hurry through their case. Andres said it was crucial to help jurors understand the flow of Manafort's money.

The judge's comments were in response to a written filing by prosecutors arguing that Ellis should instruct the jury that he made an error in admonishing them during the Wednesday testimony of IRS agent Michael Welch. "So don't try my patience, either of you".

Manafort, according to Gates, assigned members of the Cypriot law firm as ghost directors of the shell corporations. Magionos testified that she reviewed bank records obtained through a treaty request and by issuing subpoenas to Manafort's company and HSBC.

Moreover, Manafort remains a central figure in the broader inquiry into the Trump campaign's dealings with Russia, including a 2016 Trump Tower meeting at which Russians promised "dirt" on Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and his role in watering down the 2016 Republican Party platform position on Ukraine. Gates said it was a mistake a decade ago that he regretted. And he lied to special counsel investigators after striking a plea agreement with them. Downing asked Gates Tuesday, a rhetorical question everyone present at the trial with any courtroom experience saw coming a mile away. After a sidebar with the judge, Downing moved onto another topic. Downing had made his point.

"Mr Downing, I've made many mistakes over many years", said Gates, before being cut off by the judge, who snapped: "This isn't the time for that".

While Gates and others have pleaded guilty, Manafort has refused to strike a deal and legal experts say he may be holding out hopes of a pardon from Trump. Gates said the money in these accounts was earned from Manafort's political campaign work.

After questioning Gates for two hours on Tuesday, Downing finished in less than 10 minutes on Wednesday.

Gates testified that Manafort asked him to float Calk, who was on Trump's economic advisory council, for Secretary of the Army.

"I'm sorry, judge, I was", the prosecutor replied. On Tuesday he had indicated that the affair lasted just two months.

Andres asked him: "Did you provide false information to the banks?'"

"Did he fire you?"

"Because I don't want to get into trouble for some facial expression", Mr. Andres said.

Gates, who has pleaded guilty to a federal crime, testified that he organized fraudulent paperwork both with and without Manafort's knowledge.

Gates, 46, has pleaded guilty to conspiracy and is cooperating with the government as it prosecutes Manafort for allegedly evading United States taxes on tens of millions of dollars earned from political consulting work they did together in Ukraine from 2006 to 2014.

"After all the lies you've told and fraud you've committed, you expect this jury to believe you?"

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