Paul Manafort arrives at federal court in Washington, D.C., for his arraignment and bail hearing June 15, 2018. Photo: Diego M. Radzinschi/ALM

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has been indicted by a Manhattan grand jury on 16 charges, including mortgage fraud, filing false business documents and related conspiracies, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday.

The state indictment came just moments after Manafort was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the District of Columbia to more than seven years in prison on federal charges.

“No one is beyond the law in New York,” Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said in a statement, calling the allegations against Manafort “criminal violations which strike at the heart of New York’s sovereign interests, including the integrity of our residential mortgage market.”

According to Vance, the investigation commenced in March 2017. Reports swirled in late February that the Manhattan DA’s Office was preparing to bring charges, at least in part as a way to make sure Manafort faces justice in the event President Donald Trump should issue a pardon.

The first five charges in the indictment are related to residential mortgage fraud connected to Manafort’s property on Howard Street between December 2015 and August 2016. According to sparse details in the indictment, Manafort emailed an unnamed individual about an appraiser seeking to make an appointment to view a condo at the location.

“Remember, he believes you and [Individual #3] are living there,” Manafort is said to have written the person, referencing another unnamed individual.

A few weeks later, Manafort allegedly sent a letter by email to more unnamed individuals, with a document titled, “Use of Case Letter.docx.”

These same two individuals then communicated about Manafort not moving forward with a mortgage, with one party assuring the other there were no mortgagee clauses listed on a property. Less than a month later, Manafort signed a document titled “Uniform Residential Loan Application.”

According to reports, Manafort owned property at 29 Howard St. According to one of the federal indictments against him, Manafort bought the property in 2012 with funds funneled through shell companies as part of his lobbying work in Ukraine.

Manafort is also charged with nine counts of falsifying business records, each connected to a date, and covering a time period that extends from late January 2016 to January 2017, involving multiple lenders.

The state charges against Manafort also highlight legislative concerns coming out of Albany about the state’s double jeopardy law and the prospect of pardons by Trump.

According to reports, some of the loans at issue in the state charges were the same used to bring charges against Manafort in the Eastern District of Virginia last year. If so, they are potentially subject to double jeopardy—a defense that will be all but certainly raised by Manafort’s counsel going forward.

A spokesman for Manafort did not immediately provide comment.


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