Manhattan DA announces state fraud charges against Manafort


The new charges were announced by Vance just minutes after Manafort received a second prison sentence in Washington DC for his convictions on federal charges stemming from Robert Mueller's Trump-Russia investigation.

U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson ruled that Manafort will serve some of his sentence concurrently with his sentence in Virginia. "It is not a reflection of remorse, it is evidence that something is wrong with sort of a moral compass, that somebody in that position would choose to make that decision". "Please let my wife and I be together", Manafort said.

He added, "T$3 he miscarriage of justice, as I've called it repeatedly, really occurred in the Eastern District of Virginia, not today in her courtroom. I ask you to think of this and our need for each other as you deliberate", Manafort said.

A judge will decide Wednesday whether the sentences in the two cases should run consecutively or at the same time. He admitted that he had concealed from authorities the work he was doing for political clients in Ukraine and that he had schemed with a partner to try to persuade potential jurors to lie about it.

Manafort had initially fought hard against both of the cases against him, challenging Mueller's authority in general and his ability to prosecute him for these particular offenses because they did not include charges for conspiring with Russian Federation to help President Donald Trump's campaign. He offered U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson a strikingly similar statement as he did to Judge T.S. Ellis last week in Virginia, saying "The last two years have been the most hard that my family and I have ever experienced..."

He apologised to the judge from a wheelchair to "all those negatively affected by my actions", acknowledging that he did not express such regret when sentenced days ago by Ellis for bank and tax fraud.

Defense lawyer Kevin Downing suggested Manafort was being unduly punished because of the "media frenzy" generated by the appointment of a special counsel.

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Manafort told the judge he is soon turning 70 and is sole caregiver to his 66-year-old wife.

The next month, Manafort faced another trial in the D.C. federal court, on charges that included failing to register as a foreign lobbying agent for the government of Ukraine. She said much of the information he provided to prosecutors after pleading guilty couldn't be used because of his history of deceit.

In sentencing memos to Jackson, prosecutors did not ask for a specific term to be imposed but urged it be enough to deter Manafort and others from committing similar crimes. Jackson said Manafort committed fraud so he could live a lavish lifestyle.

Jackson also considered that he intentionally lied to investigators and under oath before a grand jury about his contact with a Russian associate during the 2016 campaign, breaking his plea agreement. But he reached Mueller's team, and pled guilty to two counts of conspiracy. While Jackson did "appreciate the comments that were made this morning", she said it did not change the fact that in each previous court submission by Manafort and his attorneys, she believed the "element of remorse and personal responsibility. was completely absent".

Wednesday's sentencing comes in a week of activity for the investigation. The charges against Manafort, however, were not related to his work on the Trump campaign, but rather his work on behalf of the pro-Russia political party in Ukraine.

Manafort has not yet entered a plea in the Manhattan case.

This is a developing story that will be updated.