Longtime Manafort deputy Rick Gates admits embezzlement

Rick Gates the star witness in the case against Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort

HuffPost Illustration Getty Images Rick Gates the star witness in the case against Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort

Gates testified that Manafort "requested I make wire transfers from the foreign accounts" and that "at Mr. Manafort's request", the two of them "did not disclose the foreign bank accounts" to the USA government.

Finally, before the court recessed for lunch, Gates said that he helped Manafort convert a $1.5 million 2012 loan from Peranova Holdings into income while applying for a loan in 2016.

"In Cyprus, they were documented as loans".

Ellis said he doesn't see how the travel testimony "amounts to a hill of beans" in the prosecution of Manafort, who is charged with bank fraud, tax evasion and failure to report foreign bank accounts. Those charges include: conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts, being an unregistered agent of a foreign principal, false and misleading FARA statements, and false statements. Gates (who agreed to around five years in prison and perhaps probation as part of the plea agreement) even mentioned that he violated bail conditions by coming home 15 minutes late one night.

Gates is the prosecution's star witness after he cut a plea deal this year and admitted two felony charges.

Manafort's lawyers have signalled they will seek to blame Gates and have accused him of embezzling millions of dollars from Manafort.

New charges can be brought against Gates if he fails to meet the conditions of the deal, he said.

Manfort worked without pay on President Donald Trump's campaign from March 2016 to August 2016, serving as campaign manager starting in early June.

The accusations against Manafort and Gates mostly stem from their work helping to elect Viktor F. Yanukovych, the former president of Ukraine, and other pro-Russia forces in Ukraine, and to secure business ventures with the oligarchs backing those politicians.

What did Gates tell the court? He has played those roles throughout the trial, repeatedly scolding prosecutors to rein in their depictions of Manafort's lavish lifestyle and demanding that they "move it along".

Rick Gates dropped a bombshell in his testimony against his former business partner, Paul Manafort, in federal court Monday. But Trump has shown interest in the proceedings, tweeting support for Manafort and suggesting that he had been treated worse than gangster Al Capone.

Under cross examination, she said at the time she believed Manafort was directing Gates' actions and "knew what was going on".

Ms Laporta, looking at a summary of loans to Mr Manafort and his businesses, said she could not see any indication the loan from Mr Deripaska had been paid off.

In a court filing on Monday, prosecutors said they may call Federal Bureau of Investigation forensic accountants Morgan Magionos and Renee Michael to read from Manafort's emails.

He said Manafort asked for tickets to Trump's inauguration so he could give them to a banker involved in approving a loan at the centre of his financial fraud trial.

Gates' testimony began on Monday and will likely continue into Tuesday, when Manafort's defense attorneys will cross-examine him.

Prosecutor Greg Andres pointed out he had created a "loan forgiveness letter between Mr. Manafort and Mr. Manafort".

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