Thu | Dec 14, 2017

Trump allies face decades in prison, millions in fines

Published:Tuesday | October 31, 2017 | 12:00 AM
FILE - In this July 17, 2016 file photo, President Donald Trump's Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort is surrounded by reporters on the floor of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. Rick Gates, a former business associate to Manafort and former campaign aide to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, is centre rear.
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WASHINGTON (AP):

United States President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, and Manafort's business associate, Rick Gates, face decades in federal prison and millions of dollars in potential fines if convicted on all counts in a sprawling federal indictment unsealed yesterday.

Manafort potentially faces up to 80 years in prison, according to a review of the federal charges and the relevant statutes by The Associated Press. Gates, who also worked for the Trump campaign, faces up to 70 years.

Prosecutors could still file additional charges against the pair. If convicted at trial, the law gives federal judges wide latitude in imposing prison sentences and fines.

Prosecutors allege that Manafort and Gates worked as unregistered agents of the government of Ukraine and the Party of Regions, a pro-Russian political party led by Victor Yanukovych. While serving as president of the former Soviet republic from 2010 to 2014, Yanukovych was closely aligned with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The indictment says that up to $75 million flowed through overseas accounts controlled by the two Americans. Manafort is alleged to have laundered more than $18 million which he used to buy property and goods in the United States. Gates is alleged to have transferred more than $3 million to accounts he controlled.

A summary of the charges encompassed in the 31-page indictment and the potential penalties:

 

COUNT ONE:

 

Conspiracy against the United States

Both men are charged with conspiring together and with others to knowingly and intentionally defraud and commit crimes against the United States between 2006 and 2017. If found guilty of this count, each potentially faces up to five years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.

 

COUNT TWO:

 

Conspiracy to launder money

Both men are charged with conspiring together and with others to transfer funds from outside the United States to and through places inside the country without properly disclosing the transactions or paying the required federal taxes. Penalties for this count include up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine of either $500,000 or twice the monetary value of the property involved in the transaction, whichever is greater.

 

COUNTS THREE

THROUGH SIX:

 

Failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts

The indictment alleges that for each calendar year between 2012 and 2015, Manafort failed to disclose to the US Treasury Department that he had a financial interest in and authority over bank accounts in a foreign country involving more than $10,000. Penalties include up to 10 years in federal prison for each of the four counts and fines of up to $100,000, or up to 50 per cent of the total value for the transactions, for each of the four years encompassed in the counts.

 

COUNTS SEVEN

THROUGH NINE:

 

Failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts

The indictment also alleges that between 2012 and 2014, Gates failed to disclose to the US Treasury Department that he had a financial interest in and authority over bank accounts in a foreign country involving more than $10,000. Penalties include up to 10 years in federal prison for each of the four counts and fines of up to $100,000, or up to 50 per cent of the total value for the transactions, for each of the four years encompassed in the counts.

 

COUNT TEN:

 

Unregistered agent of a foreign principal

Prosecutors allege that both men failed to register with the US attorney general as foreign agents of the government of Ukraine, the Part of Regents and Yanukovych between 2008 and 2014. Penalties include up to five years in federal prison and up to $10,000 in fines.

 

COUNT ELEVEN:

 

False and misleading statements under the Foreign Agents Registration Act

The indictment alleges that both men made multiple false statements to federal officials in relation to their failure to register as foreign agents of the Ukrainian government. Penalties include up to five years in federal prison and up to $10,000 in fines.

 

COUNT TWELVE:

 

False statements

Prosecutors allege that between November 2016 and February 2017, Manafort and Gates conspired together and caused others to make false statements and conceal crimes against the United States. The penalty for this count is up to five years in prison.