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Published: Fri, August 10, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Star witness Rick Gates to testify for third day in Manafort trial

Star witness Rick Gates to testify for third day in Manafort trial

Downing spent several hours on Tuesday firing questions at Gates to attack his credibility as a witness, bringing up lies, an extramarital affair in London he used the firm's expenses to pay for and money he embezzled from Manafort. A bookkeeper said she helped disguise foreign income as a loan to reduce Manafort's tax burden.

More than $15 million of that went to personal purchases, like ostrich and python skin jackets, a dining room renovation, flower beds in the Hamptons and a karaoke machine, the IRS and Federal Bureau of Investigation employees testified.

The fraud trial for former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort enters its eighth day as prosecutors say they plan on resting their case by the end of Friday.

The 46-year-old, who has pleaded guilty to conspiracy and is cooperating with the government, began the day by describing how he helped Manafort evade U.S. taxes on millions of dollars earned from political consulting work they did in Ukraine.

Paul Manafort, seated right row second from right, together with his lawyers, the jury, seated left, and U.S. District Court Judge T.S. Ellis III, back center, listen to Assistant U.S. Attorney Uzo Asonye, standing, during opening arguments in Manafort's trial on tax evasion and bank fraud charges. Gates said that these loans were actually income.

A former campaign aide to Donald Trump lived a "secret life" that included an extramarital affair in London, a court heard on Tuesday.

Rick Gates said under questioning from Manafort's lawyer Wednesday that he told Federal Bureau of Investigation agents and Justice Department lawyers about some of the offshore companies that contained millions of dollars in proceeds from their Ukrainian political work.

Prosecutor Greg Andres addressed the defense lawyer's questions about whether the special counsel's office had coached Gates on how to testify.

Manafort, who helped Republicans Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan reach the White House, was Mr Trump's campaign chairman from May to August 2016.

Now the trial will likely move into gritty tales of bank fraud. Gates, a longtime business partner of Manafort, had been working on the incoming president's transition team. They made a mistake when they confirmed me.

That's what longtime Manafort deputy Rick Gates told jurors on his third day of testimony in his former boss's financial fraud trial.

A clothier said he sold Manafort more than $900,000 in suits.

For this Manafort was paid US$4million a year, in quarterly payments of US$1million, Gates recalled, though at some point the currency switched from USA dollars to Euros. However, the Manafort case - as President Donald Trump has been quick to point out - focuses on Manafort's business dealings and has no direct connection to Manafort's work with the Trump campaign.

He has already admitted embezzling some funds from Manafort.

The last witness prosecutors called Wednesday before running out of time was Darin Evenson, who works at Airbnb according to his LinkedIn profile.

Gates admitted to cheating on his wife about 10 years ago, but denied using company money to fund his affair, even as Downing sarcastically noted the apartment Gates kept in the United Kingdom: "A flat?"

Mr Gates testified he and Mr Manafort knew they were committing crimes for years, saying they had stashed money in foreign bank accounts and falsified bank loan documents.

Mr Gates told jurors that he had been "tasked" by his boss "to determine how we could lower the taxes".

In one example, Manafort and Gates emailed each other copies of a doctored profit and loss statement they later sent a bank to help Manafort obtain a loan.

In one exchange published in court Wednesday, Manafort instructs his Cypriot lawyer, Kypros Chrysostomides - referred to in court as "Dr. K" because, according to Gates, his name is hard to spell and pronounce - to transfer money from the Manafort-controlled Leviathan Ltd.

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