clear
Sunday December 16th, 2018 9:48PM

Prosecutors wrapping up case at Manafort fraud trial

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A bank executive testified that he was pressured for political reasons to give more than $16 million in loans to Paul Manafort, as the financial fraud trial of the former Trump campaign chairman resumed Friday afternoon after unexpected delays.

The delays left uncertain whether prosecutors could wrap up their case against Manafort before the weekend, as had been expected.

U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III called a recess without explanation after huddling with attorneys from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office and Manafort's lawyers for more than 20 minutes. Later after bringing court back into session, he strongly reminded jurors that they weren't to discuss the tax evasion and bank fraud case with anyone.

It was a hiccup as prosecutors headed toward resting their case against Manafort, proceedings that have been sometimes dramatic and featured tense exchanges with Mueller's prosecutors. Earlier Friday, the prosecutors asked Ellis to correct an earlier statement in which the judge suggested they were wasting the court's time.

Ellis did not mention that request to the jury and didn't offer an explanation for the hours-long delay as the trial resumed with the bank executive's testimony.

Dennis Raico, an executive at Federal Saving Bank who testified under an immunity agreement, detailed for jurors how he grew uncomfortable by the actions of bank chairman Stephen Calk in the handling of Manafort's loans. Prosecutors have said that despite red flags, Calk pushed through the loans for Manafort because he wanted a job in the Trump administration.

During his testimony, Raico told jurors that Calk discussed roles in the Trump campaign ahead of approving the loans and later specifically referenced being a candidate for Secretary of the Treasury or Housing and Urban Development in messages he wanted Raico to pass to Manafort. Raico said he didn't relay Calk's messages because he thought they were inappropriate.

Raico also told jurors that a committee that Calk led approved Manafort's loan within one day despite underwriters finding several discrepancies between the income on his tax returns and the figures contained on financial statements he provided to the bank.

"A plus B didn't equal C all the time," Raico said of the discrepancies.

In previous testimony, witnesses have described other problems with documents Manafort submitted in an attempt to obtain loans.

Prosecutors had questioned a loan officer for Citizen's Bank of New York, asking about Manafort's 2016 loan application that the bank rejected. Ellis interjected: "You might want to spend time on a loan that was granted." Prosecutors said Ellis' crack "misrepresents the law" regarding bank conspiracy and "is likely to confuse the jury." Ellis did not immediately comment on the motion.

The developments Friday came after weeks of testimony that was sometimes tedious and based on bank and other records. The prosecution is Mueller's first of the investigation into Russian meddling in the presidential election, but neither Manafort nor his former protege Rick Gates has been charged in connection with their Trump campaign work.

Though substantive, untelevised and far from a Trump-style reality show, the trial has featured some drama when star witness Gates testified against his former boss.

Gates said he helped Manafort commit crimes in an effort to protect Manafort's finances. Defense attorneys called Gates a liar interested in avoiding jail time under a plea deal. Gates was forced to admit embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from Manafort and an extramarital affair. When the two were first brought face-to-face in the courtroom, Manafort's gaze bore down on his former protege and rarely wandered.

Testimony was replete with examples of Manafort's lavish lifestyle and allegedly falsified documents, including loan applications.

The prosecution has called more than 20 witnesses, including Gates, and introduced a trove of documentary evidence as they've sought to prove Manafort defrauded banks and concealed millions of dollars in offshore bank accounts from the IRS. Along the way, they've not only faced an aggressive defense team but tongue-lashings, and a rare walk-back, from Ellis.

The judge has subjected the prosecution to repeated scolding over the pace of their questioning, their large amount of trial exhibits and even their facial expressions. But on Thursday, Ellis told jurors he went overboard when he erupted at prosecutors a day earlier for allowing an expert witness to remain in the courtroom during the trial.

"Put aside my criticism," Ellis said, adding, "This robe doesn't make me anything other than human."

___

Read the Mueller team's filing regarding an ongoing investigation: http://apne.ws/PpO0wgB

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Elections, AP Business, AP Elections - Campaigns, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Financial Services
© Copyright 2018 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Russian PM strongly warns US against ramping up sanctions
The Russian prime minister has sternly warned the United States against ramping up sanctions, warning that Russia will strike back with economic, political and "other" means
12:23PM ( 2 minutes ago )
Prosecutors wrapping up case at Manafort fraud trial
Prosecutors in Paul Manafort's financial fraud trial say they expect to rest their case on Friday
12:20PM ( 6 minutes ago )
Turkey shaken by financial fears, Trump rattles it further
A financial shockwave rips through Turkey, whose currency nosedived on concerns about economic policies and a dispute with the U.S., which President Donald Trump stoked further with a promise to double tariffs on the NATO ally.
12:17PM ( 9 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Yemen's Shiite rebels welcome UN call for Saudi strike probe
Yemen's Shiite rebels welcome UN call for probe into Saudi-led coalition airstrike that killed many children, coalition says it will investigate
11:56AM ( 30 minutes ago )
Firefighters battle to curb wildfire before winds return
More than a thousand firefighters battled to keep a raging Southern California forest fire from reaching foothill neighborhoods Friday before the expected return of blustery winds that drove the flames to new ferocity a day earlier
11:33AM ( 52 minutes ago )
The Latest: Judge in Manafort case calls extended recess
Prosecutors in Paul Manafort's financial fraud trial say they expect to rest their case on Friday
11:12AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
APNewsBreak: Outsourcing critic's brand sells foreign parts
Indiana Senate candidate Mike Braun rails against foreign outsourcing on the campaign trail, even as his own company continues to sell its trademarked brand of auto accessories, many of which are made in China
9:47AM ( 2 hours ago )
Texas lockup is epicenter of family immigration detention
The Dilley family immigration lockup in rural south Texas has become an epicenter for immigration policies that the Trump administration has looked to tighten
9:01AM ( 3 hours ago )
Historic wooden church in northwest Russia destroyed by fire
An 18th-century church widely seen as a marvel of Russia's wooden architecture has been destroyed by a fire
8:56AM ( 3 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
Primary settles most races in Democrat dominated Hawaii
Hawaii voters head to the polls this weekend for a primary election that will most likely settle the outcome of this year's major races
10:10AM ( 2 hours ago )
Indonesian president picks cleric as running mate in 2019
Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has formally registered as a candidate in 2019 elections and has chosen a conservative Islamic cleric as his running mate
6:30AM ( 5 hours ago )
APNewsBreak: Indiana candidate's brand markets Chinese parts
Indiana Senate candidate Mike Braun rails against foreign outsourcing on the campaign trail, even as his own company continues to sell its trademarked brand of auto accessories, many of which are made in China
12:47AM ( 11 hours ago )
AP Elections
3rd-party hopeful brings cash to race with Utah congressman
A candidate for a new, moderate third-party is bringing a trove of cash and a little Mormon humor to a northern Utah congressional race against a longtime Republican incumbent
5:57PM ( 1 day ago )
Like father, like son: Trump Jr. defiant about Russia probe
Like father, like son: Donald Trump Jr. is defiant in the face of Russia probe and a growing GOP draw on the campaign trail
5:18PM ( 1 day ago )
Kansas GOP gubernatorial primary remains too close to call
Immigration hardliner Kris Kobach is leading Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer by less than 200 votes in the Republican primary election for governor
1:49PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Elections - Campaigns
Russian PM strongly warns US against ramping up sanctions
The Russian prime minister has sternly warned the United States against ramping up sanctions, warning that Russia will strike back with economic, political and "other" means
12:23PM ( 2 minutes ago )
Turkey shaken by financial fears, Trump rattles it further
A financial shockwave rips through Turkey, whose currency nosedived on concerns about economic policies and a dispute with the U.S., which President Donald Trump stoked further with a promise to double tariffs on the NATO ally.
12:17PM ( 9 minutes ago )
Kobach's take-no-prisoners style at forefront in Kansas race
Secretaries of state from middle America aren't generally household names. Kansas' Kris Kobach is the exception
12:13PM ( 13 minutes ago )
Shooting in Canadian city leaves 4 dead, including 2 police
A shooting in a small Canadian city early Friday left four people dead, including two police officers
12:13PM ( 13 minutes ago )
Stormy Daniels' lawyer dabbles in Iowa, says it's no stunt
Michael Avenatti, the lawyer for the porn actress taking on President Donald Trump, is taking his message to Iowa Democrats.
12:11PM ( 15 minutes ago )