Manafort spent millions on homes, rugs, clothes: court filing




  • In US
  • 2017-10-30 21:58:53Z
  • By By Sarah N. Lynch
 

By Sarah N. Lynch

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Paul Manafort, the indicted former campaign manager for President Donald Trump, spent almost $1 million on eight rugs in two years and more than $1.3 million on clothes from shops in Beverly Hills, California, and New York City.

His lavish lifestyle - with homes in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Hamptons, Arlington, Virginia and elsewhere - were detailed in an indictment filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia that was revealed on Monday.

The indictment filed by Justice Department Special Counsel Robert Mueller said Manafort "used his hidden overseas wealth to enjoy a lavish lifestyle in the United States."

Prosecutors said they found payments by Manafort for four Range Rovers and a Mercedes-Benz among transactions that they alleged came illegally from overseas to avoid paying U.S. income taxes, according to the 31-page court filing.

Prosecutors said they found evidence he bought a condo in a restored red-brick building in New York's upscale Soho neighborhood for $2.85 million, also from overseas money, most often from Cyprus.

Manafort and associate Rick Gates pleaded not guilty on Monday to money laundering and other charges filed in a probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Manafort and Gates both appeared stoic throughout a court hearing on Monday.

Greg Andres, a federal prosecutor on Mueller's team, said his office had a "difficult time" trying to pin down Manafort's and Gates' net worths, making it hard to set appropriate bail arrangements.

Andres said Manafort listed a wide range of net asset values on loans and other financial documents, from as low as $20 million to as high as $100 million. Gates, meanwhile, listed assets as low as $2 million and as high as $30 million.

A federal judge ordered house arrest for both men, and set a $10 million unsecured bond for Manafort and a $5 million unsecured bond for Gates.

Manafort's attorney Kevin Downing said on Monday there was no evidence that his client colluded with the Russian government while working for the Trump campaign. Neither Trump nor his campaign was mentioned in the indictment.

Manafort ran the Trump campaign from June to August of 2016 before resigning amid reports he might have received millions of dollars in illegal payments from a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine.

The indictment said both Manafort and Gates generated tens of millions of dollars of income from Ukraine work and laundered money through scores of U.S. and foreign entities to hide payments from American authorities.

The indictment said he spent $849,215 in a men's clothing store in New York and $520,440 at one in Beverly Hills.

He spent $5,434,793 on a house in Water Mill, New York, in Long Island's Hamptons, shelling out $820,240 for landscaping. Aerial photos of the place show gardens, a pool, a tennis court, a basketball court and a putting green and sand trap on 2.37 acres (0.96 hectare).

A seven-bedroom Brooklyn brownstone, which he bought for $3 million, was described in a real estate agent's listing as "dripping with detail - perfectly intact crown moldings and medallions, gold leafed carved window detail, 5 marble mantels, and original Lincrusta paper wall covering."

(Reporting by Damon Darlin and Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Jonathan Oatis)

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