Paul Manafort

Updated 11:08 a.m.

The federal investigation of Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election went public in a new way Monday, as Paul Manafort, formerly the Donald Trump campaign chairman, was indicted on conspiracy charges and surrendered to the authorities in Washington.

Manafort was seen walking into an FBI office on Monday morning accompanied by a lawyer. Manafort is represented by Kevin Downing, formerly of Miller & Chevalier.  Richard Gates III, Manafort’s business partner and protege, was also charged Monday.

The authorities accused Manafort of using “hidden overseas wealth to enjoy a lavish lifestyle in the United States, without paying taxes on that income.” The 31-page indictment alleges money laundering, tax evasion and unregistered foreign lobbying.

Manafort had long been a target in the investigation led by Robert Mueller III, the former Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr partner picked as special counsel to oversee the probe. Manafort was earlier represented by Wilmer for congressional matters tied to the Russia probe.

The charges thrust Mueller’s inquiry, in the shadows for months, into the public spotlight. It was not clear whether Manafort intended to fight the allegations, which include tax and money laundering claims, or perhaps cooperate as a key witness as Mueller and his team of prosecutors investigate other potential cases.

The criminal case was assigned to U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, a former Trout Cacheris litigator who joined the bench in 2011. Manafort and Gates were expected to appear at 1:30 p.m. on Monday in front of U.S. Magistrate Judge Deborah A. Robinson.

In the indictment unsealed Monday, the Justice Department alleged Manafort and Gates earned tens of millions of dollars through their political consulting work in Ukraine and hid that income from U.S. authorities from 2006 to 2016. The duo “laundered the money through scores of United States and foreign corporations, partnerships, and bank accounts.”

The indictment alleges Manafort and Gates “funneled millions of dollars in payments” into foreign companies and bank accounts opened by them and accomplices in countries including Cyprus, Saint Vincent and Seychelles. “Manafort and Gates hid the existence of the foreign companies and bank accounts, falsely and repeatedly reporting to their tax preparers and to the United States that they had no foreign bank accounts.”

Charges included conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, failure to report foreign bank and financial accounts, filing false Foreign Agent Registration Act documents and making false statements.

Manafort and Gates allegedly concealed their work as agents of Ukraine, along with the millions of dollars they received from the country and its political parties and leaders.

“Because Manafort and Gates, among other things, directed a campaign to lobby United States officials on behalf of the government of Ukraine, the president of Ukraine, and Ukrainian political parties, they were required by law to report to the United States their work and fees,” the indictment states. “Manafort and Gates did not do so. Instead, when the Department of Justice sent inquiries to Manafort and Gates in 2016 about their activities, Manafort and Gates responded with a series of false and misleading statements.”

The government will seek forfeiture of three of Manafort’s properties in New York, a home in Alexandria, Virginia, and a life insurance policy.

The indictment against Manafort and Gates is posted below:

 

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