Gates testifies that he embezzled money

Gates testifies that he embezzled money

As Gates testified in a calm, dispassionate way about the crimes he says he and Manafort committed together (as well as crimes he says Manafort didn't know about, including embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from him), Manafort appeared to be looking directly at his former colleague.

In the beginning of a hugely anticipated courtroom showdown, Gates told jurors that he siphoned off the money without Manafort's knowledge by filing false expense reports.

"At Mr. Manafort's request we did not disclose foreign bank accounts", Gates told the jury in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia.

Gates testified that he and Manafort had 15 foreign accounts they did not report to the USA government, and knew that was illegal.

An attorney for Manafort, Kevin Downing, let it slip earlier in the afternoon that Gates would testify on Monday, intensifying the tension in the courtroom.

The witness also testified that he had helped the defendant file false tax returns, and had concealed 15 foreign accounts from the U.S. government.

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"I was the one who helped organize the paperwork and initiate the wire transfers", Gates said, describing Manafort's use of unregistered Cypriot bank accounts to collect political consulting payments from Ukrainian oligarchs.

Rick Gates, a longtime business associate of U.S. President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, on Monday testified at trial that he helped Manafort file false tax returns and did not disclose foreign bank accounts.

Prosecutors on Monday went through a list of overseas corporations and Gates testified that all of them were controlled by Manafort and contained income earned by his political consulting work.

Prosecutors allege he dodged taxes on millions of dollars he made from his work for a Russia-friendly Ukrainian political party. Prosecutors still said they estimate having about three more hours of questions for Gates on Tuesday before cross examination can begin. The charges largely predate his five months on the Trump campaign but were the first to go to trial arising from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 USA election. In that time, we're also likely to see several emails and other documents with Gates' and Manafort's names on them as evidence.

It's important to note that some of the alleged bank fraud did occur while Manafort was running the Trump campaign. Gates said that Manafort "asked me not to include certain things in the deposition".

Instead, prosecutors called a different witness named Paula Liss.

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On Monday, Prosecutors quickly got to the heart of the case. The judge twice requested the lawyers to his bench, out of the earshot of the jury and the public, to discuss their approach to questioning. The White House says Mr. Trump feels his former campaign chair is being treated unfairly.

The trial opened last week with a display of Manafort's opulent lifestyle, then progressed into testimony about what prosecutors say were years of financial deception.

Mr Mueller is also investigating possible coordination between Trump campaign members and Russian officials in the election campaign, but the charges against Mr Manafort do not address that.

Downing also accused Gates of embezzling "millions", a higher amount than Gates later admitted to in his testimony.

"In most instances, it was clear that Mr. Manafort knew what was going on", she said. His testimony, given in short, clipped answers as Manafort rarely broke his gaze from the witness stand, follows that of vendors who detailed Manafort's luxurious spending and financial professionals who told jurors how the defendant hid millions of dollars in offshore accounts.

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