#AceNewsReport – Feb.24: Back in October, a grand jury indictment charged Manafort and his business associate Rick Gates with a variety of crimes, including conspiring “to defraud the United States.” On Thursday, special counsel Robert Mueller filed a new indictment against the pair, substantially expanding the charges. As one former federal prosecutor told the Washington Post, Manafort and Gates’ methods appear to have been “extensive and bold and greedy with a capital ‘G,’ but … not all that sophisticated.” One new detail from the indictment, however, points to just how unsophisticated Manafort seems to have been #AceNewsDesk reports
Published on February 23, 2018 at 10:40AM Manafort Left an Incriminating Paper Trail Because He Couldn’t Figure Out How to Convert PDFs to Word Files:
From the report: Here’s the relevant passage from the indictment. I’ve bolded the most important bits: Manafort and Gates made numerous false and fraudulent representations to secure the loans. For example, Manafort provided the bank with doctored [profit and loss statements] for [Davis Manafort Inc.] for both 2015 and 2016, overstating its income by millions of dollars…………….The doctored 2015 DMI P&L submitted to Lender D was the same false statement previously submitted to Lender C, which overstated DMI’s income by more than $4 million…………The doctored 2016 DMI P&L was inflated by Manafort by more than $3.5 million. To create the false 2016 P&L, on or about October 21, 2016, Manafort emailed Gates a .pdf version of the real 2016 DMI P&L, which showed a loss of more than $600,000…………Gates converted that .pdf into a “Word” document so that it could be edited, which Gates sent back to Manafort. Manafort altered that “Word” document by adding more than $3.5 million in income…………..He then sent this falsified P&L to Gates and asked that the “Word” document be converted back to a .pdf, which Gates did and returned to Manafort. Manafort then sent the falsified 2016 DMI P&L .pdf to Lender D. So here’s the essence of what went wrong for Manafort and Gates, according to Mueller’s investigation: Manafort allegedly wanted to falsify his company’s income, but he couldn’t figure out how to edit the PDF: Manafort+Left+an+Incriminating+Paper+Trail+Because+He+Couldn%27t+Figure+Out+How+to+Convert+PDFs+to+Word+Files%3A+http%3A%2F%2Fbit.ly%2F2ChxoOn Rick Gates, a former adviser to Donald Trump’s 2016 U.S. presidential campaign, was expected to plead guilty as soon as Friday in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, the New York Times and ABC News reported, citing people familiar with the matter Reuters: Top News Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Writing by Alistair Bell; Editing by Frances Kerry http://reut.rs/2ENm9Pc
Rick Gates, a former adviser to Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, pleaded guilty Friday in a federal investigation into Russia’s role in the election, the New York Times reported, a sign that he will likely cooperate in the probe:
A guilty plea by Gates adds pressure on Gates’ former business partner Paul Manafort also to seek a plea deal. Manafort, who ran Trump’s campaign for part of 2016, has also been charged in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe.
Cooperation by the two could potentially provide a rich vein of information for Mueller, who is investigating whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Moscow’s alleged meddling.
Mueller indicted Gates and Manafort in October on counts that include conspiracy to launder money and failing to disclose lobbying work for a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine. He filed new criminal charges against the pair on Thursday. Until now, both have maintained their innocence………ABC News and the Washington Post also reported on Friday that Gates was expected to plead guilty, without giving a date. The Times and ABC sourced their reports to unidentified people familiar with Gates’ plea agreement. Plea deals often involve promises to cooperate with an investigation in exchange for more lenient sentences………Mueller’s office could not be reached for comment. A lawyer for Gates did not respond to requests for comment:
When Manafort became manager of the Trump campaign in the middle of 2016 Gates served as his deputy. Gates helped run the campaign’s day-to-day operations, played a key role at the Republican National Convention at which Trump was chosen as the party’s nominee and accompanied Trump on campaign flights……..Gates, a longtime protege of Manafort, was actively involved in a campaign to boost the image and fortunes of Viktor Yanukovych, the pro-Kremlin former president of Ukraine……….That work brought in $17 million for Manafort’s lobbying firm between 2012 and 2014, payments that were not disclosed until last year after Mueller’s probe into their business was well underway……….None of the charges against Gates or Manafort make reference to any connection with Russian interference in the 2016 election or collusion between Moscow and Trump’s campaign: Mueller, appointed by the Department of Justice last year to investigate Russia’s role in the election and possible collusion by the Trump campaign, has a broad brief that allows him to look into any wrongdoing uncovered in the course of his probe, including possible obstruction of justice………..Moscow has repeatedly denied it sought to meddle in the campaign to tilt the vote in favor of the Republican candidate, Trump……………..Trump has denied any collusion by his campaign, and any attempt to obstruct Mueller’s probe.
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